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Ross Kemp reveals Barbara Windsors dying wish was for more money to be spent on dementia research – Daily Mail

Ross Kemp has revealed that Dame Barbara Windsor’s dying wish was for more money to be spent dementia research.

The TV icon sadly died on Thursday aged 83 after losing her battle with Alzheimer’s and tributes have poured in for the EastEnders and Carry On star. 

And now Ross, 56, who played her on-screen son Grant Mitchell on EastEnders, has opened up on his final conversation with the actress in a FaceTime call three weeks ago.

What she wanted: Ross Kemp has revealed that Dame Barbara Windsor's dying wish was for more money to be spent dementia research

What she wanted: Ross Kemp has revealed that Dame Barbara Windsor's dying wish was for more money to be spent dementia research

What she wanted: Ross Kemp has revealed that Dame Barbara Windsor’s dying wish was for more money to be spent dementia research

Speaking to The Mirror, the actor recalled how Barbara told him of her despair of the disease and expressed her wish that more could be done to help dementia suffers and how she wished for a ‘Barbara Tax’ to be introduced.

He told the publication: ‘Barbara made it very clear she wanted dementia treated as a medical problem and not a social care issue.

‘And I know that’s very expensive. So bring in a Barbara Tax – another pound or so on your tax bill to prevent people having to sell their homes to look after their loved ones.’

He added that the money could also be used to ‘help find a cure’ for dementia, or at least ‘slow down the onset.’

Final conversation: Ross, 56, who played her on-screen son Grant Mitchell on EastEnders, has opened up on his final conversation with the actress in a FaceTime call three weeks ago

Final conversation: Ross, 56, who played her on-screen son Grant Mitchell on EastEnders, has opened up on his final conversation with the actress in a FaceTime call three weeks ago

Final conversation: Ross, 56, who played her on-screen son Grant Mitchell on EastEnders, has opened up on his final conversation with the actress in a FaceTime call three weeks ago

The TV star went on to say that Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, 57, supported her idea, and added that Scott has been ‘floored’ by her death.

Discussing her final days, Ross said: ‘Right until the end Barbara was very brave and very vocal about coming forward about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Right from when she was first diagnosed I remember having conversations with her and Scott about whether her being so vocal was the right thing to do. But for her it clearly was.’

He added that her determination to fight for the cause ‘summed her up’ and that she was willing to use her ‘celebrity status’ to help highlight ‘Britain’s biggest killer.’

At present there are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and Ross noted that the sheer amount of other people suffering with the same thing was not lost on Barbara or Scott. 

Sadly missed: The TV icon sadly died on Thursday aged 83 after losing her battle with Alzheimer's

Sadly missed: The TV icon sadly died on Thursday aged 83 after losing her battle with Alzheimer's

Sadly missed: The TV icon sadly died on Thursday aged 83 after losing her battle with Alzheimer’s

Wishes: 'Barbara made it very clear she wanted dementia treated as a medical problem and not a social care issue'

Wishes: 'Barbara made it very clear she wanted dementia treated as a medical problem and not a social care issue'

Wishes: ‘Barbara made it very clear she wanted dementia treated as a medical problem and not a social care issue’

The Ultimate Force star also told how he had been in constant contact with Scott via text in Barbara’s final days, with the recruitment consultant giving Ross his blessing to discuss Barbara’s final wishes.

He added he last spoke to her on FaceTime three weeks previously and told how her death had ‘hit us all hard’. 

Speaking of Barbara’s hopes for the future of dementia research, he told how he is of the understanding that the government had intended for more money to be spent on dementia – with Scott determined to ensure that this was the case.

He added that it was the ‘legacy’ that ‘Barbara wants to be remembered for.’ 

Plan: I know that’s very expensive. So bring in a Barbara Tax – another pound or so on your tax bill to prevent people having to sell their homes to look after their loved ones' (pictured as Peggy and Grant Mitchell in 1996)

Plan: I know that’s very expensive. So bring in a Barbara Tax – another pound or so on your tax bill to prevent people having to sell their homes to look after their loved ones' (pictured as Peggy and Grant Mitchell in 1996)

Plan: I know that’s very expensive. So bring in a Barbara Tax – another pound or so on your tax bill to prevent people having to sell their homes to look after their loved ones’ (pictured as Peggy and Grant Mitchell in 1996)

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that Barbara’s Cockney roots will be remembered next year with a memorial celebration. 

It is said that the event will mark the star’s legacy on stage and screen, with famous faces set to take part.

A source told The Sun: ‘The memorial that will hopefully take place later next year will be a real celebration of Barbara’s life so that everyone can enjoy it together.’

Barbara’s funeral is expected to take place later this month, but with Covid-19 restrictions in place, only 30 people would be allowed to attend.

Supporter: The TV star went on to say that Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell, 57, supported her idea, and added that Scott has been 'floored' by her death (pictured in December 2017)

Supporter: The TV star went on to say that Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell, 57, supported her idea, and added that Scott has been 'floored' by her death (pictured in December 2017)

Supporter: The TV star went on to say that Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, 57, supported her idea, and added that Scott has been ‘floored’ by her death (pictured in December 2017) 

The memorial, in which fans can pay their respects, will no doubt be a larger public event, should restrictions be eased.  

Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Barbara will ‘star’ in three Carry On films, with producers hoping to use a hologram of old footage from the star.

Barbara starred in nine Carry On films between 1964 and 1974. 

The news movies, made by Carry On Films Ltd, are set to be released 30 years after the last installment the screens.

Her legacy: Discussing her final days, Ross said: 'Right until the end Barbara was very brave and very vocal about coming forward about Alzheimer’s and dementia'

Her legacy: Discussing her final days, Ross said: 'Right until the end Barbara was very brave and very vocal about coming forward about Alzheimer’s and dementia'

Her legacy: Discussing her final days, Ross said: ‘Right until the end Barbara was very brave and very vocal about coming forward about Alzheimer’s and dementia’

Speaking to Daily Star Sunday, company boss Brian Baker said of the new idea: ‘

‘We have got two new stories and we are looking to do one of the old ones again to bring it up to modern day quality – probably Carry On Sergeant.

‘Barbara will be making an appearance. It will be a tilt of the head to say, “Well done”. That’s the best way to do it. We are looking at using a hologram from old footage to put her in a situation like a queue for the Royal Albert Hall or serving in a shop.’

He added: ‘People loved her because she was down to earth. She saw the funny side. She didn’t take offence. She had the old fashioned British seaside humour.’

Carry On legends Sid James and Kenneth Williams are also set to make an appearance. 

Memorial: Meanwhile, it's been reported that Barbara's Cockney roots will be remembered next year with a memorial celebration

Memorial: Meanwhile, it's been reported that Barbara's Cockney roots will be remembered next year with a memorial celebration

Memorial: Meanwhile, it’s been reported that Barbara’s Cockney roots will be remembered next year with a memorial celebration 

The films are set to begin production next Spring for a 2022 release, with the idea of them being available on a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. 

Barbara is survived by her third husband Scott, who announced early on Friday morning that his ‘best friend and soul mate’ passed away peacefully in a London care home at 8.35pm on Thursday. 

He had moved into her home a few days earlier to be by her side when she died. 

He said in a statement: ‘Her passing was from Alzheimer’s/Dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side.

What a star: It is said that the event will mark the star's legacy on stage and screen, with famous faces set to take part

What a star: It is said that the event will mark the star's legacy on stage and screen, with famous faces set to take part

What a star: It is said that the event will mark the star’s legacy on stage and screen, with famous faces set to take part 

‘Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career.’

He added: ‘It was not the ending that Barbara or anyone else living with this very cruel disease deserve. I will always be immensely proud of Barbara’s courage, dignity and generosity dealing with her own illness and still trying to help others by raising awareness for as long as she could.’

At the end of his moving tribute, Mr Mitchell said: ‘May you rest in peace now my precious Bar. I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.’

Hologram? Elsewhere, it's been reported that Barbara will 'star' in three Carry On films, with producers hoping to use a hologram of old footage from the star

Hologram? Elsewhere, it's been reported that Barbara will 'star' in three Carry On films, with producers hoping to use a hologram of old footage from the star

Hologram? Elsewhere, it’s been reported that Barbara will ‘star’ in three Carry On films, with producers hoping to use a hologram of old footage from the star

Dame Barbara became one of the most famous faces on British screens for her fun-filled saucy roles in the Carry On comedies of the 1960s and 70s before before becoming the no-nonsense Queen Vic landlady Peggy Mitchell. 

As she bravely fought Alzheimer’s in the final years of her life, she turned her energies to campaigning to protect those with dementia, the vulnerable and the lonely as well her passionate support of the Armed Forces through the Poppy Appeal.

The actress – who was made a Dame by the Queen in 2016 – announced she was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 2018, having been diagnosed four years earlier. She moved to a care home in July, five months before she died.

An icon: Barbara is survived by her third husband Scott, who announced early on Friday morning that his 'best friend and soul mate' passed away peacefully in a London care home at 8.35pm on Thursday

An icon: Barbara is survived by her third husband Scott, who announced early on Friday morning that his 'best friend and soul mate' passed away peacefully in a London care home at 8.35pm on Thursday

An icon: Barbara is survived by her third husband Scott, who announced early on Friday morning that his ‘best friend and soul mate’ passed away peacefully in a London care home at 8.35pm on Thursday

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