Evening Standard - ES Magazine


The actress about to step into Babs Windsor’s shoes for an EastEnders one-off would take a date to the Royal Opera House, is a sucker for Barbies and will always be a Camden girl at heart


Home is …

When I’m back in London, Camden. That’s where I was born and where I always feel back in my stomping ground. Dalston was also my home, my son’s first home. And now it’s Hertfordsh­ire. I’ve gone a bit dahhling. When the pandemic happened, I was like, get me out of east London, immediatel­y.

Where would you suggest for a first date?

The Royal Opera House — I happen to be an ambassador. It’s just stunning and you live out your Pretty Woman fantasies. Whenever my partner and I go, we just sink back into old-school romance. The last thing I saw was Madame Butterfly. Maje. Really maje.

Which shops do you rely on?

Annie’s Ibiza. She’s got it, from vintage to new. We’re all losing our shit about her own collection. I like a bit of Harvey Nics still. They’ve had a bit of a revamp after a dodgy couple of years. For my vintage: Found and Vision, Karen Clarkson’s shop in Portobello. Stunning stuff, if you’re feeling quirky and have lots of money in your pocket.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would 100 per cent implement equal pay.

Because it is so, so boring. I would make sure the nurses get paid way more because the NHS is just slipping. And I would also play really good music, smoke and lasers in the Houses of Parliament — to liven those motherf***ers up. Also, free uniforms and equipment for kids. I’m always so shocked. Parents that can’t afford kids’ uniforms. You have to wear a uniform so why isn’t it supplied? Just look after the kids, man. They have it rough.

What makes someone a Londoner?

If you say ‘babes’. And you say ‘innit’ now and again. That’s London. And a true Londoner loves black cabs. But you’ve got to get on the Tube now and again.

Have you ever had a run-in with a London police officer?

I have. No comment. I took the long route around what I was running away from, because I didn’t want to f*** up my Patrick Cox loafers. That’s why I got caught! I didn’t want to mess up my shoes, so I just sort of surrendere­d. White flag.

Who do you call when you want to have fun?

Not gonna lie, everyone calls me. That’s my thing, I love to socialise when not working.

What’s your biggest extravagan­ce?

I cannot resist a good headpiece, however much it costs. It’s a f***ing nightmare. I mean look at this, a Gucci one. Shall I just put it on?

What podcast are you obsessed with?

My podcast called Jamie Winstone’s Greatest Night Ever. I’m done with listening about food, and people telling me about my well-being, self-help and guidance. We need some nostalgia up in here, we need to know what people’s fun times are. I’ve spoken to Amanda Lepore, Melanie Blatt, I’m speaking to Cara Delevingne and Princess Julia is my booth bitch — dare I call her a tea girl.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

“I’m very grateful to have spent time with Barbara Windsor in real life. One day she said, ‘You’re more me than me!’ I miss her”

I’ve just finished playing Peggy Mitchell for an EastEnders one-off Seventies period drama special, which is super exciting. There’s so much interest in why Peggy was like Peggy and we get that from this episode. I’m very grateful to have spent time with Barbara Windsor in real life. One day she said, ‘Oh you know, you’re more me than me. Don’t worry babe. Do it. This is also your job.’ I miss her, God bless and ultimate respect.

What do you collect?

Barbies… I love my Barbies and I love dolls. If I go into a charity shop and there’s a Barbie there in a look, I’m like, ugh, she’d look so good in my gang. I have about 75.

Watch Jaime on EastEnders, 5 Sep on BBC1

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