Barbara Windsor’s grieving husband Scott Mitchell makes his first TV appearance since her death

Barbara Windsor’s grieving husband Scott Mitchell made his first public appearance on Thursday, one week after he tragically lost the love of his life. 

The EastEnders and Carry On actress died aged 83 last Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, with Scott spending her last seven days at her bedside.  

Speaking at Good Morning Britain‘s 1 Million Minutes Awards, Scott, 57, admitted he was worried he would be ‘too emotional’ to present an award named in Barbara’s honour to a carer and fought back tears as he spoke about the star’s final days. 

Courageous: Barbara Windsor's grieving husband Scott Mitchell made his first public appearance on Thursday, one week after he tragically lost the love of his life

Courageous: Barbara Windsor's grieving husband Scott Mitchell made his first public appearance on Thursday, one week after he tragically lost the love of his life

Courageous: Barbara Windsor’s grieving husband Scott Mitchell made his first public appearance on Thursday, one week after he tragically lost the love of his life

Scott appeared via a video link to bestow Nassrat Bi, who works in palliative end of life care, with the Dame Barbara Windsor Award. 

He said: ‘I was involved in this year’s judging, as I was last year, and I think when it came to you and your story, nothing could have been more poignant for me at that moment because I know you assist people going through palliative care and their families.

‘And that’s exactly what was happening to Barbara and that was exactly what was happening to me.

‘I read your story and the compassion and selflessness that carers like yourself show is beyond measurable, as far as I’m concerned.’

Soul mates: The EastEnders and Carry On actress died aged 83 last Thursday, after a long battle with Alzheimer's, with Scott spending her last seven days at her bedside (pictured 2019)

Soul mates: The EastEnders and Carry On actress died aged 83 last Thursday, after a long battle with Alzheimer's, with Scott spending her last seven days at her bedside (pictured 2019)

Soul mates: The EastEnders and Carry On actress died aged 83 last Thursday, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, with Scott spending her last seven days at her bedside (pictured 2019)

Grieving: Speaking at Good Morning Britain's 1 Million Minutes Awards, Scott, 57, admitted he was worried he would be 'too emotional' to present an award named in Barbara's honour

Grieving: Speaking at Good Morning Britain's 1 Million Minutes Awards, Scott, 57, admitted he was worried he would be 'too emotional' to present an award named in Barbara's honour

Grieving: Speaking at Good Morning Britain’s 1 Million Minutes Awards, Scott, 57, admitted he was worried he would be ‘too emotional’ to present an award named in Barbara’s honour

Scott told Nassrat that he doesn’t have ‘great enough words’ for what she does as he emotionally added: ‘I know what it takes, now, to sit next to someone at the end of life and just have comforting reassuring words coming from the carers.

‘To watch your loved one be comforted and be cared for and the relief that gives you and the support to the family, you will never know what it means to loved ones to be a part of that process and to be included and cared for as well as the person who is coming to the end of their life with the disease.’

Scott, who was Barbara’s primary carer before she was moved into a care home in August, commended Nassrat for her ‘courage and compassion’ after she returned to work shortly after losing her father to coronavirus.    

‘I know Barbara would have adored someone with those qualities and I can’t believe only a week ago she was still here and now she’s not,’ he said.

Finding strength: Scott, who was Barbara's primary carer before she was moved into a care home in August, commended award-winner Nassrat for her 'courage and compassion'

Finding strength: Scott, who was Barbara's primary carer before she was moved into a care home in August, commended award-winner Nassrat for her 'courage and compassion'

Finding strength: Scott, who was Barbara’s primary carer before she was moved into a care home in August, commended award-winner Nassrat for her ‘courage and compassion’

Devastated: 'I can't believe only a week ago she was still here and now she's not,' he said as he presented the award

Devastated: 'I can't believe only a week ago she was still here and now she's not,' he said as he presented the award

Devastated: ‘I can’t believe only a week ago she was still here and now she’s not,’ he said as he presented the award

‘There’s the circle of life. I don’t think I can still believe it to be honest with you.’

Barbara’s devoted husband said hearing how Nassrat channelled her grief into helping others ‘gave me the courage today to do this video’.   

‘I want to tell you one other thing about your story, which gave me the courage today to do this video for you,’ he said.   

‘That’s when I was first asked, I said I thought I would be too emotional, in too much of a state to be able to do it.’ 

After sending his thanks to the carer, Scott concluded: ‘So God bless and thank you and congratulations and please keep doing the work you do because without people like yourself Nassrat we would be very lonely and scared in our time of need.’

Touched by Scott’s strength to present the award, Nassrat said: ‘It’s a bittersweet moment. I would like to offer my condolences to Dame Barbara Windsors’ family and friends, who have lost a special one.

Inseparable: The couple married in 2000- eight years after they met when Barbara was 55 and Scott was 30 (pictured in 2000)

Inseparable: The couple married in 2000- eight years after they met when Barbara was 55 and Scott was 30 (pictured in 2000)

Inseparable: The couple married in 2000- eight years after they met when Barbara was 55 and Scott was 30 (pictured in 2000) 

‘Dame Barbara Windsor was an icon who worked tirelessly to highlight and bring forward awareness of dementia in the elderly. I’m lost for words.’

It comes as Scott set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.  

‘My best friend and soul mate’: Scott Mitchell’s statement in full

Scott Mitchell said in a statement: ‘It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that my darling wife Barbara passed away at 8.35pm on Thursday 10th December at a London Care Home. Her passing was from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last 7 days by her side.

‘Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.

‘Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end.

‘It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve. I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.

‘Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UKs number one killer. Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his Government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into Dementia/Alzheimer’s Research and Care.

‘Thank you to all the drs, nurses and carers who are angels at the Care Home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.

‘And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.

‘May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.

‘I will be making no further statements and now need the time to grieve this painful, personal loss.

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Scott revealed he wanted the page to be used as a Book of Condolence where mourners can offer their sympathies while donating to charity. Almost two thousand pounds has so far been raised seven days after the actress died. 

The couple received the news the actress was suffering with Alzheimer’s in 2014, with Scott saying he broke down in tears at the neurologist’s office. 

Barbara chose to keep her condition secret for four years before asking her husband to make the announcement in May 2018. 

Scott became Barbara’s primary carer until he made the decision to move her into a full-time residential care home due to her battle with dementia.  

The Carry On legend had begun to struggle to walk and was put in a wheelchair.

On the day he took her to the care home, Scott admitted he felt ‘sick to the pit of [his] stomach’ for leaving her there when they’d spent so much time together during their 27-years together. 

Last week, the heartbroken former actor announced her death before paying tribute to his ‘soul mate’.

Scott wrote: ‘Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.  

‘Barbara’s final weeks were typical of how she lived her life. Full of humour, drama and a fighting spirit until the end. 

‘It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve.  

‘I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.

‘Dementia/Alzheimer’s remains the UKs number one killer. Although in challenging times, I urge the Prime Minister, his Government and other parties to be true to their previous promises and invest more into Dementia/Alzheimer’s Research and Care.

‘Thank you to all the doctors, nurses and carers who are angels at the Care Home for your kindness and care to Barbara and I throughout her stay with you. You are my heroes.

‘And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.

‘May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.’

Devoted: It comes as Scott set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK

Devoted: It comes as Scott set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Alzheimer's Research UK

Devoted: It comes as Scott set up a JustGiving page to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK 

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die.

This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages, and causes the brain to shrink. 

More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the US, where it is the 6th leading cause of death, and more than 1 million Britons have it.

WHAT HAPPENS?

As brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost. 

That includes memory, orientation and the ability to think and reason. 

The progress of the disease is slow and gradual. 

On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some may live for ten to 15 years.

EARLY SYMPTOMS:

  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Disorientation
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulties dealing with money or making a phone call 

LATER SYMPTOMS:

  • Severe memory loss, forgetting close family members, familiar objects or places
  • Becoming anxious and frustrated over inability to make sense of the world, leading to aggressive behavior 
  • Eventually lose ability to walk
  • May have problems eating 
  • The majority will eventually need 24-hour care   

 Source: Alzheimer’s Association

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