Actress Barbara Windsor has quit EastEnders to spend more time with her family.
The 72 year old has played Peggy Mitchell (pictured right) for last 16 years in the popular BBC1 soap. She won a lifetime achievement award at the British Soap Awards earlier this year.
Windsor was also a major star in the Carry On films, sharing the screen with the likes of Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Frankie Howard and Joan Sims.
Her role in EastEnders has seen her play the landlady of the Queen Vic pub, famous for the line “Get outa my pub” to characters such as Pat Butcher.
The Guardian newspaper has reported today that Windsor will be “sad” to leave the programme.
“EastEnders has been wonderful to me and it’s no secret that it changed my life all of those years ago,” she said.
I have had the pleasure of working with a marvellous cast and crew and have made many lasting good friends
“I’ll be so sad to leave Peggy behind; she’s such a wonderful character to play. I have had the pleasure of working with a marvellous cast and crew and have made many lasting good friends. To have had the honour of showing the Queen around the set is something that will stay with me forever.
“I would like to thank the BBC for the incredible opportunity they gave me and above all, I must thank the wonderful viewers for their support over the years.
“I’m looking forward to the future and I suppose when all’s said and done, I should spend a bit more time with my old man, as he’s not getting any younger.”
Windsor was made an MBE in 1999. She is expected to leave the soap next year.