Belfast Telegraph

Windsor backing for Strictly's Wood

Former Queen Vic landlady Barbara Windsor is swapping the bar-room for the ballroom as she supports her former EastEnders co-star Jake Wood ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing semi-final.

The actress, known for many years as Walford's Peggy Mitchell, headed to rehearsals to see Jake preparing for the penultimate round of the BBC One dance show.

She popped in for a surprise visit as Jake - who plays Albert Square's Max Branning - practised the two dances he needs to perfect for this weekend's heat, alongside professional partner Janette Manrara.

Barbara - due for a brief EastEnders return next year to mark the show's 30th anniversary - said: "I was so thrilled they chose me to surprise him as I've been with him every step of the way. I'm so proud of him - it's great, I'm almost seeing him in a whole new light."

But she admitted she had no idea he had a dance talent.

"It's funny about Jake because I've been to parties and he's never danced. He's shy. It's a big shock - he always wanted to and he took to it so well. I'm telling you at the next party he'll be up there.

"I'd love him to win. They're all terrific but I'd love him to win. I know what he's like as a person and an actor.

"You couldn't ask for a lovelier actor to work with," she added.

Jake and Janette will perform a Viennese Waltz to Percy Sledge's When A Man Loves A Woman and a Cha Cha to Boogie Shoes by KC And The Sunshine Band.

Barbara's visit will be screened during the show tomorrow (December 13).


From Belfast Telegraph