Barbara Windsor has been having “some really good days” after Alzheimer’s diagnosis, according to Rita Simons

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Rita Simons as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders

EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor is still having “some really good days” and enjoying “a laugh” since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Her former co-star Rita Simons – who played Roxy Mitchell, the niece of Barbara’s character Peggy, in the BBC soap – has said that the actress is still living her life and seeing friends.

Barbara Windsor arrives at the Olivier Awards at The Royal Opera House on April 15, 2012

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“Just because she’s got this terrible disease doesn’t mean she’s locked up in her flat all the time,” she told The Mirror. “She still has a laugh – she just has to factor this in as part of her life. She’s been having some really good days.”

Rita added that Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, who originally confirmed Barbara’s diagnosis to the press, has been “wonderful”.

“She’s got Scott, who is amazing,” she said. “That is commitment. Without Scott, Barbara would be lost. He’s the most wonderful husband to her.”

And Rita revealed that she and her former on-screen sister Samantha Womack, who played Ronnie Mitchell, are planning on visiting Dame Barbara now that Rita has left her role in West End musical Legally Blonde.

Grant Mitchell (ROSS KEMP), Peggy Mitchell (BARBARA WINDSOR), Phil Mitchell (STEVE MCFADDEN) *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 10th MAY, 2016* ***FORTNIGHTLIES PLEASE DO NOT USE (SOAP LIFE AND ALL ABOUT SOAP) Grant & Phil take Peggy's arms and walk her home across the Square.

Related: Former EastEnders star Rita Simons gets brutally honest over Roxy Mitchell’s death

“Me and Sam Womack are going to go and see her now I’ve finished Legally Blonde,” she said. “I haven’t seen Barbara since panto last year when she came to see me.

“That was when I realised – it was the first time I saw first hand that she wasn’t well.”

Rita made her exit from EastEnders alongside Samantha at the end of 2016, when Roxy and Ronnie drowned in a tragic swimming pool accident on New Years Eve.

Barbara last appeared in EastEnders in May 2016, when Peggy died after refusing treatment for cancer.

EastEnders airs on BBC One.

For more information about Alzheimer’s and dementia as well as support, readers in the UK can visit the Alzheimer’s Society and those in the US can reach out to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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