Jaime Winstone and Samantha Spiro have both been cast to play Barbara Windsor alongside two child actors in BBC One drama, Babs.
“It is a complete honour to play Dame Barbara Windsor. It is a role I have manifested for years and am so excited to step into her national treasure shoes! I have always been a huge fan of Barbara and to be able to play her throughout this stage in her life is gonna be very special. I can’t wait to start filming” – Jaime Winstone who’ll be portraying 20-30 year old Barbara
Written by former EastEnders writing supremo Tony Jordan, Babs is the heart-warming story of Dame Barbara Windsor, the Cockney kid with a dazzling smile and talent to match. Preparing to perform in the theatre one cold evening in 1993, Babs takes us on a journey of over 50 years worth of people and events that have shaped her life and career up to that point. She contemplates her lonely childhood and WW2 evacuation, her complicated relationship with her father, her doomed marriages, capturing the attention of Joan Littlewood and becoming the blonde bombshell in the Carry On films.
Babs, ever the consummate professional, never lets her fans down whatever her personal anguish and steps on the stage to rapturous applause. A finely woven script merging theatre and film, the story unravels, full of heart and heartbreak – with a touch of sauciness thrown in.
After portraying Barbara in the 1998 stage play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and in the television production of Cor Blimey!, Samantha Spiro reprises the role and will be playing ‘mid-fifties’ Babs.
“It’s absolutely thrilling to be playing Barbara again. Tony Jordan has written a beautiful celebration of her life, but it’s not your usual biopic, lots of surprises! She is so adored, so I hope we get it right and that Barbara herself loves it!” – Samantha Spiro
A British icon, Barbara was born in London in 1937 as Barbara Ann Deeks. The only daughter of a bus conductor and a dressmaker, she first glimpsed theatrical life after being evacuated to Blackpool where she attended a dancing school. She came alive when singing and dancing and all who saw her fell in love with her immediately. Her cockney sparrow personality was infectious and she grabbed the hearts of the nation. She made her stage debut at the age of 12 and has remained in the spotlight since.
In total, there are four actresses playing the role of Babs plus Dame Barbara who will be making a cameo. The 90 min BBC One drama will go into production imminently for broadcast in 2017.