Dame Barbara Windsor’s husband has admitted she "is not the woman he knew".
Scott Mitchell has noticed numerous changes in the former ‘EastEnders’ star – who he married in 2000 – since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease six years ago, but he still "loves the bones" of her.
Appearing on ITV’s ‘Ross Kemp: Living With Dementia’ on Thursday (11.06.20), he said "It’s not the Barbara that I knew, it’s not my wife Barbara anymore, I’m Barbara’s carer.
"I’m still her friend and I love the bones of the woman, but it’s not the Barbara I know or knew that I live with."
Scott also opened up about his heartbreak when his wife of two decades didn’t recognise him for the first time as a result of the chronic neurodegenerative disease.
He added: "My heart sank the first time Barbara looked at me and said, ‘Sorry, who are you?’
"Your whole history, 20 years or so at that time, is gone in their eyes and they’re looking at a stranger, and it’s hard to take.
"It still flips between, even now, I can either be the most important part of her world or she will look at me and say, ‘Do you know where my husband Scott is?’
"Sometimes I’ll squeeze her hand and smile at her and she will look at me puzzled, or sometimes she says, ‘Don’t be so silly, you’re not my husband.’ "
Before the first of the two-part documentary aired, Ross revealed how he had been visiting 82-year-old Barbara – who played ‘EastEnders’ icon Peggy Mitchell – regularly before the coronavirus lockdown, and he was shocked by the way her health has deteriorated with her condition.
He explained: "Due to her condition, Barbara didn’t take part in the film.
"I see her as often as I can – every couple of months before the lockdown – and the deterioration in her condition has been shocking and to those of us close to her, deeply upsetting."