Eastenders' Barbara Windsor has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's

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Alzheimer's Research UK tweeted: 'Everyone at Alzheimer's Research UK would like to send their best wishes to national treasure Dame Barbara Windsor, her family and friends following her husband's announcement that she's living with Alzheimer's disease'.

After Barbara's absence from showbiz events sparked rumours about her health, Scott made the decision to speak about the diagnosis to potentially explain any unusual behaviour the acting veteran might display when she's out and about.

Since her 80th birthday last August, a definite continual confusion has set in, so it's becoming a lot more hard for us to hide'.

'Rather than me living in fear she might get confused or upset, they'll know that if her behaviour seems odd, it's due to Alzheimer's and accept it for what it is, ' he added.

The 80-year-old actress, famed for her roles in the Carry On films and soap EastEnders, has been taking medication after being diagnosed with the brain disease in 2014.

Talking about the heart-breaking moment the doctor confirmed the illness, Scott told The Sun: "When the doctor told us, she began crying then held it back, stretched her hand out to me and mouthed, 'I'm so sorry'".

Mitchell told the paper he first noticed symptoms of the condition in 2009, just before Windsor left EastEnders for the first time, when she began finding it hard to learn her lines.

Doctors carried out a brain scan and mental agility tests, before diagnosing her with the progressive disease, which can affect multiple brain functions including memory. "And of course, the public are naturally very drawn to her, which I don't want to stop", he said.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia.

By 2016, the forgetfulness and confusion were worse, and it was agreed she would leave EastEnders for the final time.

He said, while she's begun to struggle more recently, Barbara still enjoys walks with her friends, and loves to laugh.

"I didn't want someone else to dictate how or when the diagnosis came out, so that's why I'm speaking about it now". I hope she knows how much she is loved.

Mum of three Holly opened the episode with the words: "Heartbreaking news this morning about Dame Barbara Windsor".

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