Barbara Windsor kept her one-night stand with George Best a secret for years despite comics such as Jimmy Tarbuck knowing they had slept together.
The 4ft 10in actress - who died on Thursday aged 83 from Alzheimer's - was seduced by 'Belfast Boy' Best in the late 1960s at the film premiere for one of her Carry On films.
Despite the petite blonde being overjoyed she had got together with Best as she thought he was "gorgeous in the Sixties", she kept her mouth shut for decades about their fling.
But she was spotted sneaking off with Best - who died in 2005 aged 59 from liver failure after a lifelong battle with alcoholism - by her comedy colleague Jimmy Tarbuck.
When Jimmy asked her where she had gone the previous night when they met up the next day for work, she refused to tell him.
Barbara said in her now out-of-print memoir All Of Me: "In the autumn of 1969, Charlie Hawtrey and I were walking into a Manchester cinema for a midnight première of Carry On Again Doctor when we heard the crowd outside screaming and squealing.
"I looked round to see what all the fuss was about, and there were handkerchiefs and knickers flying through the air and commissionaires battling to keep hundreds of girls - mostly blonde, it seemed - outside the velvet rope of the VIP area.
"'Georgie! Georgie!' they were chanting. Coming along behind us was the sensational George Best, the first footballer to be idolised like a pop star.
"I got chatting to him at the reception afterwards and all the time these gorgeous girls were crowding round him, trying to touch him.
"'Oh George, don't let me keep you,' I said. 'You can't be here talking to me with all these stunning birds around. It's ridiculous.'
"'Oh, no, Barbara,' he said. 'How often do I get to talk to a lady like you? It's lovely. Why don't we go off and have a quiet drink somewhere?'
"As we edged our way towards the exit, I noticed that the comedian Jimmy Tarbuck had a look of surprise on his face.
"The next day, I was performing with Jimmy in The Good Old Days music-hall show for BBC TV in Leeds and the first thing he said to me was: 'Where did you get to last night?'
"I smiled and said nothing. But it was a great night!"
Despite the heavy hint in her book Barbara had bedded Best, she refused to confirm it until years after its publication.
It wasn't until 2010 during her appearance on Piers Morgan's Life Stories that she admitted they had gone to bed - telling the host it was a "magic moment", adding: "It was great, he was fabulous".
East Londoner Barbara also told Piers she enjoyed a "little moment" with Bee Gees star Maurice Gibb when she was asked to give him some acting advice - and the pair ended up in bed together.
The EastEnders actress, who was famously friends with gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, also had an affair with Carry On co-star Sid James.
It happened while she was married to gangster Ronnie Knight, making her a dangerous choice for Sid.
His biographer Clifford Goodwin said he became obsessed with her and was convinced they could spend their lives together.
The fling ended in 1974 when they went on separate tours, with Barbara moving to New Zealand and Sid - who died 18 months later in 1976 aged 62 - to Australia.
Barbara was married three times.
Her first husband was Ronnie Knight, who she married in 1964 and divorced in 1985. A year later she married Stephen Hollings, with that lasting just under a decade.
She married Scott Mitchell (45) in 2000, who took care of her at their home until her death.
In the wake of her death Belfast-born presenter Eamonn Holmes (61) tweeted a tribute to the actress who has been dubbed the unofficial Queen of England.
He wrote: "We'll miss her Giggle... and her Wiggle. Always a joy to be in her company. Huge condolences to her totally devoted husband Scott. Bye Babs. May you Rest in Peace."
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