Barbara Windsor’s funeral attended by celebrity pals who pay tearful farewells

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Barbara Windsor's friends and family bid farewell to the telly legend at a small but emotional funeral today.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, just 30 people were allowed to gather to honour the EastEnders star during a 45 minute service at Golders Greene Crematorium in London.

A picture of the order of service has emerged that features an image of Barbara in her Carry On days, as well as beautiful snaps of her and her husband Scott Mitchell and her beaming for the camera.

Leading arrivals on Friday was her old friend Christopher Biggins, who was asked to speak of the star during the service. He arrived dutifully masked and in a black overcoat as he made his way into the venue.

Also speaking at the service was Dame Barbara's close friend and on-screen son from EastEnders, Ross Kemp and another of her former co-stars, Anna Karen.

The order of service from Barbara Windsor's funeral

Christopher Biggins gave a eulogy as Dame Barbara Windsor's close friends and family bid her farewell at her funeral in London on Friday
(Image: Steve Reigate)

Dame Barbara's friends David Walliams and Matt Lucas were pictured standing together outside the ceremony in quiet contemplation, as they waited for the procession to arrive.

At one point a masked Walliams raised a hand to his eye, as if to wipe away a tear.

He and his Little Britain co-star watched respectfully as a trio of black hearses slowly drove down Meadow Gate and along Hoop Lane to the crematorium.

A red and white floral display spelling the words Babs, The Dame and Saucy surrounded the actress’s coffin.

(Image: PA)

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Some of the flowers were donated by the Alzheimer’s Society, after Dame Barbara worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease following her diagnosis in 2014.

All the mourners present were supporting Dame Barbara's beloved third husband Scott Mitchell, 58, who was at her side when she died in her care home in December age 83.

The Vicar put his arm around the widower as they walked inside together.

Dame Barbara's beloved husband Scott Mitchell was escorted inside the by the vicar
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

The booklet had pictures of her from the Carry On films

The array of mourners reflected Barbara's 66-year career in the spotlight, from her debut on stage age 13, to her retirement at 79 four years ago.

Former journalist and Loose Women star Jane Moore and her PR guru husband Gary Farrow were among the arrivals, as was Dean Gaffney, who played Robbie Jackson on EastEnders.

Another in attendance was hair and make-up artist Gary Cockerill, while comic Paul O'Grady was also seen.

The coffin was brought into the ceremony to Frank Sinatra’s On The Sunny Side Of The Street while other music played included the hymns Jerusalem and The Lord Is My Shepherd.

However the 30 mourners were asked not to sing and to sit in socially distanced bubbles to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Scott, seen arriving, was at his beloved wife's side when she died in December age 83
(Image: Getty Images)

The recessional music was a recording of Dame Barbara's song Sparrows Can’t Sing from her 1963 film of the same name.

Scott shared the order of service with Barbara's fans, explaining outside the ceremony: "As Covid has denied so many of Barbara’s family, friends and fans a chance to say farewell properly, I wanted to share the order of service to let people be a small part of it.

"My heart goes out to every family who have experienced the same restrictions at their loved ones funerals."

The booklet included photos from throughout her career and personal life, including on the set of EastEnders, with the Queen and on her Carry On films, as well as with her husband of 20 years.

The order of service finished with the famous topless photo of Dame Barbara from the film Carry On Camping, accompanied by her quote: "That picture will follow me to the end."

Mitchell wrote below it: "Yep!!! Rest in peace my darling Bar, my love forever Scott xx."

Matt Lucas and his Little Britain colleague Walliams stood in quiet contemplation as the three-car procession arrived
(Image: Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

The order of service

Songs played at the service included Sunnyside of the Street by Frank Sinatra, You Made Me Love You by Anthony Newley, and the hymns Jerusalem and The Lord's My Shepherd.

Those of Dame Barbara's many friends who could not be included in the small number present paid their respects online.

Former Eastenders actress Danniella Westbrook asked fans to join her in honouring her former colleague and friend.

She wrote on Twitter: "Today we say our last good bye to Dame Barbara Windsor. So say a little prayer."

Another former co-star to pay tribute was Martine McCutcheon, who recalled how the "kind" icon befriended her at their first meeting when she was just 10.

A red and white floral display spelling the words Babs, The Dame and Saucy was on show in the car bearing the actress’s coffin
(Image: PA)

Floral arrangements recalled Barbara's iconic appearances in the Carry On films; some of the flowers were donated by the Alzheimer's Society
(Image: ©Karwai Tang)

"My Darling Barb, today is your funeral," Martine wrote, expressing her sadness she could not attend.

"I so wish the streets of London could be lined with all who loved you, but sadly in these times It’s not an option – but know I’m thinking of you. I always did and always will.

"You were an inspiration to me since I was 10 years old when we first worked together. I fell a bit in love with you even then.

"You were so glamorous, professional and you had a soft spot for me. I didn’t leave your side whilst filming!"

The two would go on to work together on EastEnders, when Martine was a teenager.

The array of mourners reflected Barbara's 66-year career in the spotlight, from her debut on stage age 13, to her retirement at 79 four years ago; seen here is Dean Gaffney
(Image: ©Karwai Tang)

She recalled: "When you remembered me 8 years later as a young woman on my first day of Eastenders and said such kind things to me, my mind was blown… but I came to learn that was typical Barb, on the ball, kind and straight talking.

"I loved our chats in your dressing room and on set. Your words of wisdom and naughtiness are part of who I am. Thank you. Thinking of you today and always. Most of all I love you Barbara. A rare and true star will certainly be making heaven more sparkly."

Dame Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2014 and with the support of husband Scott went public with her condition in 2018.

Some of the flowers were donated by the Alzheimer’s Society, after Dame Barbara worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease following her diagnosis in 2014
(Image: Steve Reigate)

(Image: PA)

Throughout her final years, she was praised for raising awareness of her condition and along with Scott visited 10 Downing Street for a meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2019.

The couple raised £4million through the London Marathon in a bid to aid research into the disease.

Dame Barbara seen with her beloved third husband Scott in 2019
(Image: PA)

Following Barbara's death, Scott joined Alzheimer’s Research UK in a bid to raise funds in honour of his late wife.

The page has raised more £145,000 so far, reaching more than £150,000 with Gift Aid.

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