Paul says En­ders star is ‘do­ing well’ af­ter pace­maker op

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Halina Watts SHOW­BIZ ED­I­TOR

TV favourite Paul O’grady has told how his pal Bar­bara Wind­sor is “do­ing re­ally well” af­ter hav­ing a pace­maker fit­ted.

He vis­ited the 81-year-old for­mer Eas­ten­ders star, who suf­fers from Alzheimer’s disease, fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dure.

And he praised Dame Bar­bara’s hus­band Scott Mitchell, 55, for look­ing af­ter her.

Paul, 63, who saw Babs last month, said: “She is do­ing re­ally well, and he is re­mark­able, Scott. Since she has had the pace­maker, I’ve been to see her.

“The love they have for each other, it breaks your heart. She knows who I am. She’s fine.

“I used to look af­ter peo­ple with Alzheimer’s and it re­ally is hard. One minute they are re­ally off the spec­trum and the next they are lu­cid and say­ing, ‘I’m re­ally sorry’ – it’s heart­break­ing.”

Bar­bara was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014, and she went pub­lic with the news ear­lier this year. The con­di­tion causes dementia and mem­ory loss.


She needed the heart op af­ter com­pli­ca­tions with the med­i­ca­tion she takes for Alzheimer’s left her dizzy and breath­less. The pace­maker was fit­ted dur­ing an eight-day stay in hospi­tal af­ter she col­lapsed at home in Au­gust.

Paul said: “If I got Alzheimer’s, no one would know be­cause they would just think it is nor­mal be­hav­iour. Some morn­ings I wake up and I don’t know if I’m Snow White or Fred West.”

The fun­ny­man has worked with Bar­bara mul­ti­ple times dur­ing his ca­reer, in­clud­ing on his talk show and the game show Blan­kety Blank, but their most no­table col­lab­o­ra­tion was at the Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance in 2001.

Paul – as his drag al­ter-ego Lily Sav­age – and Bar­bara were joined on stage by Cilla Black for a hi­lar­i­ous rou­tine set to the show­tune You Gotta Have A Gim­mick from Gypsy.

Last week Scott broke down in tears on ITV’S Loose Women when speak­ing about Bar­bara’s ini­tial di­ag­no­sis.

He said: “We were sit­ting down and Dr Kennedy said, ‘Look I’m re­ally sorry, it is Alzheimer’s’. And Bar­bara just looked at me and said, ‘I’m so sorry’.”


STAR TURN: As Peggy in Eas­ten­ders and, right, with Scott CLOSE: Babs and Paul of­ten worked to­gether CAP­TION: words go in here

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