Remembering Peggy Mitchell's best EastEnders moments as Barbara Windsor dies

Dame Barbara Windsor created many an iconic EastEnders moment as legendary Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell.

The beloved actress sadly died on Thursday at the age of 83, following a battle with Alzheimers.

Barbara became a household name via her work in the Carry On film franchise, but it was her performance as Peggy Mitchell that won her the hearts of viewers all across the nation.

Taking over the role from actress Jo Warne, Barbara made Peggy her own, and delivered decades’ worth of captivating performances, entertained a nation, and coined some truly iconic catchphrases in the process—#GetOuttaMyPub.

Peggy is arguably the most iconic soap character of all time, and for many, she remains the quintessential East End landlady.

As we mourn the loss of one of the all-time greats, we at Metro.co.uk are reflecting on some of Dame Barbara’s most iconic moments as the unforgettable Peggy Mitchell.

Peggy’s return

Peggy rocked up in EastEnders in 1994, to visit Phil (Steve McFadden) in the hospital.

Barbara, already a household name, had taken over the role from actress Jo Warne, who portrayed Peggy for a handful of episodes in 1991.

While some elements of the Mitchell matriarch’s characterisation remained intact — such as her devotion to her sons, and her take-no-prisoners demeanour — Barbara very much made the role her own, and ultimately created an icon in the process.

Peggy’s showdown with Pat

Peggy’s friendship with Pat Butcher (Pam St Clement) was as synonymous with the character as the Queen Vic pub, but her feud with the stalwart was arguably even more iconic.

These two came to blows on multiple occasions throughout their time in the soap, and their showdown in 1998 — which was recently aired again on BBC One as part of the Iconic Episodes series — was nothing short of spectacular.

In fact, it was this very episode which gave birth to the duo’s signature dialogue exchange of ‘You bitch’, followed by ‘You cow!’ — which was utilised on a number of occasions later down the line.

With a character-driven story at the helm and great dialogue to match, the face-off remains a reminder of EastEnders at its absolute finest.

‘Hope you all enjoyed the fireworks…’

With Peggy’s suspicions about Frank Butcher (Mike Reid) having an affair with Pat having been proven correct, the landlady wasted little time in exposing the infidelity — and she did so in what would ultimately prove to be one of EastEnders signature moments.

The episode in question, which originally aired on Bonfire night back in 2000, saw Peggy confront Pat and Frank over their affair.

Of course, she did so in front of a captive audience of Walford’s finest in The Queen Vic, before delivering a thunderous slap to each of the adulterer’s faces, and issuing the iconic line ‘Hope you all enjoyed the fireworks! Good night!’

This episode was re-broadcast twice recently — once on BBC Four to commemorate the soap’s 35th anniversary, and also as the final instalment of Iconic episodes — and it remains as powerful as it was during its initial airing.

Peggy and Pauline’s iconic showdown

Peggy certainly wasn’t scared of a confrontation or two, and she certainly didn’t hold back when she faced-off with Pauline regarding Mark’s lie about Lisa’s daughter during an epic showdown in the Queen Vic in 2002.

Confronting Chrissie

Peggy was unafraid to speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she did when she showed up at Den Watts’ (Leslie Grantham) funeral to confront Chrissie (Tracy Ann Oberman).

With daughter Sam (Kim Medcalf) having been framed for Den’s murder, Peggy was hellbent on revenge, and therefore she marched up to the gravesite, yelled at Chrissie, before pushing her into the grave!

‘Tell Den you’re sorry!’ she exclaimed, as Chrissie lay atop her husband’s coffin.

Was there ever a more iconic showdown?

‘Chrissie Watts. Murderrrer!’ will continue to echo in our minds for eternity, that’s for sure!

Peggy and Pat’s 2008 showdown

With news of Frank’s death having sent shockwaves through the Square, Peggy and Pat came to blows once more, as they reminisced about the man that they both loved dearly.

However, as they got into yet another explosive argument, the famous ‘You bitch. You cow!’ showdown was created in all its epic glory — with two more thunderous slaps included!

Pat and Peggy get drunk in the ice-cream van

Pat and Peggy feud was one for the ages but, when they weren’t busy slapping each other daaahn and calling each other every name under the sun, they were actually the best of friends — as proven during a hilarious episode in 2009 when the pair of legends got tipsy inside an ice-cream van — much to Phil’s dismay!

‘I’m not some cuddly little old lady’

Peggy stood up to husband Archie (Larry Lamb) in an unforgettable showdown in 2009.

Archie had made several members of the Mitchell clans’ life a living hell, and Peggy certainly wasn’t going to let him away with it without giving him a piece of her mind, that’s for sure.

‘I don’t think you know who you’re dealing with here. I’m not some cuddly little old lady,’ she informed the abuser.

‘I’m Peggy Mitchell! I’m old East End. Real East End. Proper’  

Legendary.

Peggy’s exit

The destruction of something that one holds so dear is an incredibly tough thing to experience, and Peggy learned this the hard way in September 2010, as her beloved Queen Vic was incinerated — an incident which ultimately led to her deciding to leave Walford once and for all.

With nothing but a little yellow bag in her possession, the Mitchell matriarch stared at what was once her pride and joy one last time, before heading off down Bridge Street market in scenes which were accompanied by the first use of Peggy’s Theme —  a slightly more melancholic version of Julia’s Theme which has been used five times in total thus far.

Farewell, Pat

In spite of Peggy having left Albert Square in 2010, she briefly returned for one instalment in 2013, in order to give Phil a talking-to in the hospital — much like she did in her very first episode.

However, with Pat having tragically died during her absence, the Mitchell matriarch used her brief return as an opportunity to pay tribute to her best friend.

‘Oh, Pat. We never did get that last drink, did we darling?’ Peggy said, as she stopped outside Pat’s front door in a special post-credits scene.

‘Cheers. You silly old cow.’

As Peggy remembered Pat, she surveyed Walford one more time, as a shortened version of Peggy’s Theme sounded.

Peggy meets Mick

Peggy returned to Walford once again in 2015 to mark the BBC One soap’s 30th anniversary.

She shared a scene with stalwart Dot Branning (June Brown), before popping into the Queen Vic to have a butchers at her pub — the first time she’d set foot in it since it went up in flames five years earlier.

While there, she came face-to-face with Mick Carter (Danny Dyer), who — in a rather tongue-in-cheek moment — told her to ‘Get out of my pub’

Peggy, finding the whole thing rather amusing, reminded Mick to watch the pump on the right, as it ‘sticks a bit’.

A queen.

Last Orders

Peggy made an unannounced appeared in January 2016, where it was revealed that the character’s cancer had returned — she was dying.

Therefore, she returned to Walford one final time in May of that very year, to say her final farewells.

The Mitchell matriarch wanted Phil to help her end her own life, but when he refused to do so, she did it by herself in an incredibly emotional scene penned by the wonderful Sarah Phelps, as the icon took a trip down memory lane one last time with a ghostly hallucination of arch-rival — and best mate — Pat.

This time, it was ‘You bitch. You cow. My friend.’

‘Oh, my friend. My dear friend. You won’t ever leave me, will you?’ said Peggy.

‘No sweetheart. Not for one single second.’

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