Eastenders star Ross Kemp has revealed the devastating moment his onscreen mum Dame Barbara Windsor (a.k.a Peggy Mitchell) was unable recognise him due to her battle with Alzheimers disease.
Recalling his visit, Ross told The Sun: ‘She’s as vibrant as ever but her short-term memory has gone. One minute she knows who I am then she asks, ‘Why are you here?’ The thing about dementia is that the polite filter is gone.”
He added: “It’s a bit like being a child again because you just say it how it is. Luckily, she says she still likes me, which is a relief.”
Ross, 54, then went on to discuss how 81-year-old Barbara is dealing with the illness.
“It’s horrible to deal with but she’s still the same Babs we know and love”, he said.
“I Can’t praise her and her husband Scott enough for their bravery and grace in handling her diagnosis.
It’s a testament to their love for each other that they have managed to stick together through it,” he added.
It would seem that tough guy Ross might be getting, dare we say it, a little softer – as the dad-of-four then went on to discuss fatherhood.
Ross and his wife of seven years, Renee, have a brood of three-year-old Leo, 11-month-old twins Ava and Kitty, and also Ross’s son Oliver, seven, from a previous relationship, to keep up with.
Speaking about his role as a father, he gushed: “It’s fantastic and I think it makes me a better person. It makes me value how lucky I am.”
He added that his kids definitely like to keep him active: ‘It’s tough having kids this late in your life – and having twins takes a lot of energy.’
With four mini Ross Kemp’s running around, we can certainly imagine! Sending our best wishes to Barbara in light of the news of her recent surgery.