‘Carry On’ Dr Babs Windsor finally gets her UEL doctorate—after 70 years!
- Credit: UEL
The much-loved ‘Carry On’ star Barbara Windsor was given a standing ovation after receiving her honorary doctorate at London’s O2 Arena last night.
It was the culmination of seven decades in front of the cameras.
The actress from TV’s EastEnders and the hit ‘Carry On’ films joked that she had given a whole new meaning to ‘Carry on Doctor’ as she was given her award by the University of East London.
“This is extra special as it connects me back to the East End,” she said. “It celebrates all that I’ve achieved during my entire career from my Theatre Workshop days with Joan Littlewood at Stratford to the Carry On films—and of course EastEnders.
“I’m feeling very emotional and know my family would have all been so proud of me, saying ‘That’s our Babs!’”
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Her TV career began in 1961 in the ‘Rag Trade’ sitcom about an East End tailoring sweatshop.
She went on to star in films such as Joan Littlewood’s ‘Sparrers Can’t Sing’ two years later before joining Sid James in the ‘Carry On’ hits.
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But Babs nowadays is best known for her role in the BBC’s EastEnders as the Old Vic pub landlady Peggy Mitchell, a role she has played for 16 years which earned her a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ accolade at the 2009 British Soap awards.
The ‘Cockney Sparrer’ received her doctorate of Arts from Lord Patel.
Barbara was born in Shoreditch in 1937 to a market trader and dressmaker and lived several years at Mile End.
But her career goes back well before her TV debut, when a talent scout spotted her at the age of 13 performing in a 1950 charity show. She landed a spot in a West End musical and has never looked back since.