Babs, currently in production for broadcast in 2017, tells the life story of Carry On icon Babara Windsor from her childhood to the early 1990’s. Preparing to perform in the theatre one cold evening in 1993, Babs takes us on a journey of all the people and events that have shaped her life and career: taking us through fifty years from 1943 to 1993, she contemplates her lonely childhood and WW2 evacuation, her complicated relationship with her father, her doomed marriages, capturing the attention of Joan Littlewood and becoming the blonde bombshell in the Carry On films.
Babs, ever the consummate professional, never lets her fans down whatever her personal anguish and steps on the stage to rapturous applause. A finely woven script merging theatre and film, the story unravels, full of heart and heartbreak – with a touch of sauciness thrown in.
After portraying Barbara in the 1998 stage play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and in the television production of Cor Blimey!, Samantha Spiro reprises the role and will be playing our ‘mid-fifties’ Babs.
Cheeky, chirpy, buxom and blonde, Barbara is a British icon who is loved by the nation. Born in London in 1937, Barbara Ann Deeks came from humble beginnings. The only daughter of a bus conductor and a dressmaker, Barbara was a bright and happy child.
Barbara got her first glimpse of theatrical life when being evacuated to Blackpool where she was sent to dancing school to keep her off the streets. She came alive when she was singing and dancing and all who saw her fell in love with her immediately. Her cockney sparrow personality was infectious and she grabbed the hearts of the nation. She made her first stage debut at the age of 12 and she’s never been out of the spotlight since.
Samantha said “It’s absolutely thrilling to be playing Barbara again. Tony Jordan has written a beautiful celebration of her life, but it’s not your usual biopic, lots of surprises! She is so adored, so I hope we get it right and that Barbara herself loves it!”
Whilst Jaime Winstone, who will be taking on the role of our 20-30 year old Barbara, said “It is a complete honour to play Dame Barbara Windsor. It is a role I have manifested for years and am so excited to step into her national treasure shoes! I have always been a huge fan of Barbara and to be able to play her throughout this stage in her life is gonna be very special. I can’t wait to start filming”
UK / BBC One – Red Planet Pictures / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Sunday 7 May 2017 at 8.00pm
Writer: Tony Jordan / Executive Producers: Lorraine Newman, Tony Jordan, Hilary Salmon, Chris Aird
Jaime Winstone as Barbara Windsor (younger)
Samantha Spiro as Barbara Windsor (older)
Zoe Wanamaker as Joan Littlewood
Nick Moran as John Deeks
Leanne Best as Rose Deeks