Barbara Windsor’s widower, Scott Mitchell, has been spotted in the company of EastEnders actress Tanya Franks, confirming their relationship shortly after it was revealed. The beloved British actress, known for her iconic roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, passed away in December 2020 at 83 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Scott, aged 60, and Tanya, aged 55, officially announced their relationship while enjoying a holiday in Greece earlier this month. The couple was recently seen taking a leisurely stroll through the streets of London, basking in their newfound happiness.
Scott sported a vibrant blue and white floral shirt paired with blue denim jeans during their outing, exuding a casual yet stylish vibe. Carrying a large bouquet of flowers, he looked content and at ease. Conversely, Tanya looked effortlessly chic in a floral blouse and slim-fit denim blue jeans that perfectly complemented Scott’s attire.
Their relationship has gradually developed over the years, fueled by their shared dedication to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease through their involvement in ‘Bab’s Army.’ In 2019, Scott and Tanya ran the London Marathon together, raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of Barbara.
Tanya’s connection to Alzheimer’s stems from her stepfather Derek’s battle with the disease. This shared cause further solidified their bond. This year, the couple once again participated in the London Marathon alongside fellow EastEnders stars, continuing their efforts as part of ‘Bab’s Army.’
A source close to Scott revealed to The Sun that he is genuinely happy in his new relationship. Friends of Scott and Barbara are thrilled to see him find love and someone to share his life with. Although it is still early days, Scott and Tanya are taking things slowly, building their connection based on friendship, respect, and shared interests.
Scott and Tanya made their first public appearance at the Ashley Brodin summer garden party lunch last month, where they enjoyed each other’s company. Tanya, known for her portrayal of Rainie Cross on EastEnders, has appeared in 382 episodes of the popular soap, captivating audiences with her compelling performances. Her character’s storyline even intersected with Barbara’s on-screen son, Phil Mitchell, played by Steve McFadden, during a controversial plot involving crack cocaine.
Beyond her role on EastEnders, Tanya boasts an impressive television portfolio, appearing in shows such as ‘Family Affairs,’ ‘The Bill,’ ‘Pulling,’ and ‘Broadchurch.’
Barbara Windsor’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in 2014 remained private for four years, and Scott stood steadfastly by her side throughout her brave fight against the disease. After Barbara’s passing, Scott spoke fondly of her, emphasising her humour, strength, and fighting spirit.
Scott had previously expressed doubts about finding love again, believing that no one could ever replace Barbara. However, fate intervened, and he crossed paths with Tanya, bringing newfound happiness into his life.
Before her relationship with Scott, Tanya married actor James Barriscale, with whom she founded Stock-pot Productions. James played Jonathan Malnet, the adoptive father of Jade Green on EastEnders.
Scott and Barbara tied the knot in 2000, a union that initially sparked controversy due to their significant age gap of 27 years. While rumours circulated about their marriage being open, Scott clarified that their relationship was not strictly defined and Barbara encouraged him to live life to the fullest.
Scott’s battle with addiction was supported by Barbara, who herself struggled with the impact of his destructive behaviour. Through therapy and the guidance of influential figures like Elton John’s manager, John Reid, Scott eventually overcame his addiction.
As Scott and Tanya embark on this new chapter of their lives, their blossoming relationship is a testament to the enduring power of love and the capacity for happiness after loss.
Barbara Windsor’s legacy lives on through her remarkable performances and the love and connections she fostered, inspiring those around her to cherish life’s precious moments.