EastEnders actors' London Marathon training in Mile End in support of Dame Barbara Windsor
PUBLISHED: 12:11 08 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:46 08 January 2019
EastEnders stars have been in Mile End preparing to run the London Marathon in honour of Dame Barbara Windsor.
Actors Tanya Franks, Kellie Shirley, Emma Barton, Jane Slaughter and Jamie Borthwick – who worked alongside Dame Barbara on the BBC1 soap – took to the athletics track at Mile End Leisure Centre and Stadium in Burdett Road.
In total eight actors who met Shoreditch-born Dame Barbara on the show where she played Peggy Mitchell have teamed up calling themselves ‘Barbara’s Revolutionaries’.
They will run in aid of the year-long Dementia Revolution campaign set up by charities the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Dame Barbara, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014, said: “It means so much to me to see some of my closest friends coming together to support this cause.
“I know it will mean a lot to everyone else living with dementia.”
In a video filmed at the leisure centre and released today (Tuesday), actors joined the screen star’s husband Scott Mitchell for a session with coach Martin Yelling.
Scott said: “I really admire all of the team for taking on the London Marathon. It is such an amazing show of their love and friendship towards Barbara.
“The training session was an amazing day. Being around each other in training really brought us together.”
Almost one million people live with dementia according to the two charities which described the condition as the biggest health threat facing society.
Actors Jake Wood and Adam Woodyatt are also due to don their running shoes in a bid to raise £100,000 towards dementia research.
Jake, who plays Max Branning, said: “Barbara is such a wonderful, special friend. Dementia awareness is so low and research is so underfunded. We’ve come together as a team to change this, and make a stand.
“I hope the public side with us as Barbara’s Revolutionaries and help us raise lots of money to power dementia research towards a cure.”
Tanya, who plays his on-screen wife Rainie Branning, added: “We’ve taken on this challenge to help highlight this condition and make a better experience for all those with a diagnosis.”
Alzheimer’s Society boss Jeremy Hughes said: “It is fantastic so many friends of Dame Barbara have come together. It’s a display of true friendship in support of a vital cause.”