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  1. ITV Report

Peggy Mitchell to make emotional final farewell in Eastenders

Peggy Mitchell, the much-loved Eastenders character, will bid her final farewell tonight as she passes away.

Barbara Windsor with fellow Eastenders cast members in 1999 Credit: PA

The former Queen Vic landlady was played by Dame Barbara Windsor full time until 2010, after which she made occasional appearances.

Dame Barbara, 78, first appeared in the soap in 1994 and was recently reunited with her on-screen sons Grant (Ross Kemp) and Phil (Steve McFadden).

She made a dame by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in March and the cast and crew of EastEnders donned pretend crowns as they welcomed her back to the show the day before her trip to the palace.

The Queen visited the set of Eastenders in 2001 Credit: PA

Everyone involved in filming her return bowed and curtseyed as the star returned for the six-week stint.

As the landlady of the Queen Vic, Peggy was much loved for her feisty temperament and her "Get outta mah pub!" catchphrase.

Initially played by Jo Warne in 1991, Peggy was recast with Dame Barbara walking into Albert Square three years later, and became a fan favourite.

Peggy's most memorable moments

  • During her first episode, Peggy visited son Phil in hospital. "Can't take my eyes off you, can I? Not for two minutes," she said. She immediately made the role her own, banishing memories of the first person to play Peggy.
  • In 2000 Peggy found out her husband Frank Butcher was having an affair with his ex-wife Pat and was planning to run away with her. Peggy found out and humiliated the couple in front of everyone in the Queen Vic by reading Frank's letter aloud.
  • Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996. The cancer returned in 1999 and Peggy made the decision to have a mastectomy.
  • Peggy and Pat had a physical fight as they rowed over which of them Frank Butcher had loved more.

EastEnders will be broadcast at 7.25pm on BBC One.