- Barbara Windsor, 78, will become a Dame in the New Years Honours list
- She will be joining such luminaries such as Judi Dench and Helen Mirren
- The Shoreditch-born actress is being rewarded for her lifetime's work
- In 2001 Ms Windsor famously showed The Queen around the Queen Vic
She was the bubbly, buxom blonde in the Carry On films and later became the battleaxe who ruled over London’s best-known pub in television soap EastEnders.
Now, at the age of 78, Barbara Windsor’s status as a national treasure is to be confirmed – when she is made a Dame.
The Mail on Sunday understands that the actress is to be awarded the honour in the New Year’s list, joining an exclusive club that includes among its members Judi Dench and Helen Mirren.
Scroll down for video
Barbara Windsor, pictured here in Carry on Doctor in 1968, will become a Dame in the New Year Honours list
It is believed the honour will be mainly conferred for the star’s contribution to entertainment – she was officially recognised as a ‘cultural icon’ when she took part in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee parade in 2002 – but also in recognition of her work with charities such as Age UK and the Royal National Institute of Blind People.
Known for her cheeky personality, a beehive of blonde hair and her raucous laugh, ‘Babs’ – as she is affectionately known – will always be fixed in the national consciousness for the risqué moment in which her bikini top flew off during an outdoor exercise session in the 1969 film Carry On Camping.But her private life has been almost as colourful as her career. She was girlfriend to Kray brothers Charlie and Reg, and had flings with fellow Carry On star Sid James and footballer George Best. Other boyfriends included jazz musician and club owner Ronnie Scott and Bee Gee Maurice Gibb.
Ms Windsor’s rise to damehood from humble roots in London’s East End will delight the showbusiness world as well as her legion of fans.
Born in Shoreditch, the only daughter of a bus conductor and a dressmaker, the actress made her screen debut aged just 17 in the 1954 film The Belles of St Trinian’s.
Barbara Windsor, second left, knew the Kray Twins, Reggie and Ronnie and Reggie's wife Frances, left
Her television career was revived when she was cast in Eastenders in 1994 and stayed there for 16 years
...AND THE GURU WHO WON PM ELECTION GETS KNIGHTHOOD
Although she went on to star opposite Vanessa Redgrave in a production of The Threepenny Opera, she will forever be known for her portrayal of the cheeky good-time girl in nine Carry On films during the 1960s and 1970s.
Her television career was revived when she was cast in 1994 as Peggy Mitchell, the no-nonsense landlady of the Queen Vic pub – she pulled pints there until 2010.
Ms Windsor has had three husbands. The first was Ronnie Knight, an associate of the Kray brothers, who spent time in jail for receiving stolen goods and for being involved in the robbery of a Security Express van.
Her second husband was actor Stephen Hollings, while her third is Scott Mitchell, whom she wed in 2000.
Ms Windsor was awarded an MBE in the 2000 New Year Honours and last year was given an honorary doctorate from the University of East London.
Meanwhile, The Mail on Sunday has also learned that a campaign supported by Sir Bruce Forsyth to persuade officials to award veteran comedian Ronnie Corbett a knighthood appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Sir Bruce said in October that the diminutive and much-loved 85-year-old star ‘deserved’ the honour for his part in the hugely popular Two Ronnies television series, which was a Saturday night staple throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Mr Corbett’s wife Anne said that although the thought of being Lady Corbett ‘would be very nice’, no official letter had arrived, ‘so I guess not this time’.
Barbara Windsor starred in a number of movies along with the much-loved Sid James
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3374998/Arise-Dame-Babs-Eastenders-Carry-star-Barbara-Windor-heads-New-Year-honours-list.html#ixzz3vVYQopZd
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook