Entertainment & Arts

EastEnders' Peggy to make soap exit

Mitchell family greets Peggy (Barbara Windsor)
Image caption The Mitchell family will reunite for Peggy's final appearance in Walford

Dame Barbara Windsor's final scenes as EastEnders matriarch Peggy Mitchell will air in the coming weeks.

Peggy - who has terminal cancer - will be joined by her onscreen sons, Phil and Grant, as the Mitchell family reunite to say their final goodbyes.

The actress, who joined the soap in 1994, revealed she would be leaving the show for good in January.

Viewers will see Peggy make a typically flamboyant return to Albert Square, for one last time, on 9 May.

She will be greeted by the extended Mitchell family, including her grandchildren, Ben and Louise, Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) and his family, and niece Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack).

Image caption Peggy announces her return to the Square on a milk float

Grant Mitchell - played by Ross Kemp - will be returning to the show after a 10-year absence.

"I owe the show and I owe The Mitchells quite a lot," Kemp - a close friend of Windsor - told BBC Radio 1 last month.

"I wouldn't be doing this... if I hadn't had those 10 years at EastEnders. So that was a big springboard for me in terms of moving on in my life, so I see no reason not to be able to go back and do it."

Dame Barbara, 78, played the character full-time until 2010, and has since made brief appearances in Walford - her last earlier this year, when she told her son Phil (Steve McFadden) that her cancer had returned.

Show producers began working on Peggy's exit last summer. Speaking in January, Dame Barbara said the character was "something I need to shut the door on".

Executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins said her departure would be "one of the most heartbreaking, uplifting and epic exits an EastEnders character has ever had".

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