Dame Barbara Windsor has Alzheimer's

Barbara Windsor has battled the disease for four years. Source Getty

Dame Barbara Windor's husband has spoken out about his wife's Alzheimer's diagnosis.

She underwent rigourous testing which included a brain scan and a lumbar puncture to confirm the upsetting news for the couple.

Windsor is best known for her roles in nine Carry On films and as pub landlord Peggy Mitchell in TV soap EastEnders.

Two months earlier, Barbara was awarded a Damehood for her services to showbusiness and charity after an acting career that has spanned nearly 60 years.

He said that Dame Barbara cried when she was told the devastating news and that her memory loss and confusion have grown worse in recent weeks. TV presenter Gaby Roslin also sent her love to the 80-year-old actress, tweeting: "My attractive dear friend Dame Barbara Windsor is an unbelievable woman and I will love her and wonderful Scott for ever".

The husband of the star, Scott Mitchell, told the Sun that his wife had been told this in April 2014 and explained that the 80-year-old had been taking medication but symptoms had become worse recently.

"So rather than me living in fear she might confused or upset, they'll know that if her behaviour seems odd, it's due to Alzheimer's and accept it for what it is".

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In the interview, Mr Mitchell told the newspaper: "Firstly, I hope speaking out will help other families dealing with loved ones who have this cruel disease. I love both Barbara and Scott very much", he said. And of course, the public are naturally very drawn to her, which I don't want to stop.

Globally, as many as 44 million people are living with Alzheimer's or related dementia.

He added that the diagnosis in 2014 had been hard. We've been friends for so many years and they are strong and courageous together. He insisted going out is good for her, so he doesn't want her to feel uncomfortable being around people.

Her final scenes aired in May 2016.

Mum of three Holly opened the episode with the words: "Heartbreaking news this morning about Dame Barbara Windsor.

And, since her 80th birthday last August, a definite continual confusion has set in, so it's becoming a lot more hard for us to hide".

Scott explained that he was given Barbara's blessing to reveal her illness to the world, but if she soon forgets she did he would "have to deal with it".

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