I m so proud of Babs

The People - - NEWS FEATURES - By Ja­nine Yaqoob TV EDI­TOR

ROSS Kemp says his on-screen mum Bar­bara Windsor is “re­lieved” peo­ple know about her Alzheimer’s di­ag­no­sis – and he praises her strength.

The ac­tor, who played Grant Mitchell in Easten­ders, told how he spoke to the 80-year-old TV leg­end, best known for be­ing Peggy Mitchell in the hit BBC soap, this week.

He says she’s do­ing great and hopes re­veal­ing she has the dis­ease will help oth­ers.

“I spoke to Bar­bara on the phone this week,” said Ross, 53, at the DIVA Mag­a­zine Awards in Lon­don on Friday night. “She’s do­ing a lot bet­ter than she was.

“I’m re­ally proud of her and her hus­band Scott for be­ing open about it. I think it was a brave de­ci­sion to re­veal her Alzheimer’s di­ag­no­sis. Hope­fully it will take some of the stigma away and al­low oth­ers to talk about it. She feels re­lieved af­ter telling peo­ple.” Dame Bar­bara, also fa­mous for her roles in the Carry On films, was di­ag­nosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014. But hubby Scott Mitchell, 55, only de­cided to speak out re­cently be­fore her mem­ory got any worse or ru­mours be­gan to spread. He also ad­mit­ted that his wife’s con­di­tion has wors­ened to the point that she some­times for­gets they are mar­ried. The star was this week pic­tured look­ing happy and healthy as she cud­dled up to pal and Bri­tain’s Got Ta­lent judge David Wal­liams. Ross, who has moved from soaps into doc­u­men­taries, said he’d love to re­turn to the Square one day. “Never say never. I’d love to do some act­ing. I’m proud to be Grant Mitchell. I’ve a lot to thank it for. I never thought it’d grow into what it has.” He has found him­self in dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions as he trav­els the world film­ing in war-torn coun­tries and crime-hit cities. Cur­rently work­ing on a new doc­u­men­tary for ITV, due out in Oc­to­ber, it tack­les the preva­lent is­sue of gun and knife crime on our own streets. “It’s about armed polic­ing. It’s taken a year to film. We had some sad mo­ments. I in­ter­viewed a lady in Ne­wham, South Lon­don, whose 14-year-old son was shot dead. That was emo­tional.” Mar­ried to Aus­tralian lawyer Re­nee since 2012, the cou­ple have three chil­dren, Leo, three, and eight-month old twins Ava and Kitty. He has a seven-year-old son with ex Ni­cola Cole­man. “I live a very dif­fer­ent life to the life I lived when I was 35,” Ross ad­mit­ted. “I had a good time back then but this is a dif­fer­ent kind of en­joy­ment. I’m glad I did it this way round.”

CAP­TION: words go in here DOU­BLE TROU­BLE: As Grant with Phil & mum Peggy Mitchell CLOSE: Ross and Bar­bara, who played his soap mum

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