Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

Peggy Mitchell's Finest Moments

  1. Begin

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    When Barbara Windsor joined EastEnders in 1994, it was both a casting coup and a high-profile risk. What would happen if the Carry On actress couldn't adapt to the show's rigorous filming schedule – and would viewers accept "our Babs" in a rather less sympathetic role? But Peggy Mitchell quickly became one of the soap's most compelling characters as she fussed over sons Phil and Grant, squabbled with Pat Butcher and Pauline Fowler, embarked on ill-fated marriages to Frank Butcher and Archie Mitchell, and ruled her beloved Queen Vic with a line to which no one dared argue back: "Get outta my pub!"

    Peggy also showed immense personal growth when she was first diagnosed with cancer in 1996, and realised she needed to apologise for her cruel behaviour towards Mark Fowler, who was facing his own health battle with AIDS. Though Peggy's appearances in Albert Square have been more sporadic in recent years, she remains one of EastEnders' most iconic characters and many of us will feel our eyes well up when she finally says goodbye for good in tomorrow night's episode. To soften the blow, here's a reminder of some of Peggy Mitchell's most memorable moments.


    Begin Slideshow
  2. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uHn_eiYOoPE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 6

    "You bitch! You cow!"

    Peggy's slanging matches with Pat Butcher, her longtime rival for Frank's affections, have rightly been adopted as camp classics. If you want to watch a compilation of their various confrontations set to a dance beat, you can find that video on YouTube, but nothing quite beats this ferocious head-to-head from 1998. "I'll flamin' well kill ya!" Peggy shrieks as she uncoils like a spring and, well, you must know what happens next…

  3. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/STab7et8I9A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 6

    Peggy reveals she has breast cancer

    EastEnders gave Peggy an important and powerfully-written storyline in 1996, and Barbara Windsor really rose to the challenge. As Peggy tells her family that she is about to undergo a lumpectomy, she remains stoic and refuses to indulge in self-pity. “It's one of those things, it's not uncommon," she explains bravely. “Don’t fuss, Grant. Lots of women have breast cancer and make a full recovery. I'm no different."

  4. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/flLEgh_0TIQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 6

    Peggy watches the Queen Vic go up in flames

    Peggy loves her pub almost as much she loves her family, so when son Phil set fire to the Queen Vic in 2010, her reaction was suitably intense. Having managed to escape from the burning building, a soot-faced Peggy looks back at her pride and joy and sighs, "Let it burn... let it burn." Sure it's melodramatic, but by this point Peggy Mitchell's enough of a soap legend to pull it off.

  5. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/7-W6bW_ISMk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 6

    Peggy exposes Frank and Pat's affair

    When Peggy finds a letter from husband Frank in which he confesses to having an affair with his ex-wife Pat Butcher, she only knows one way to deal with it – namely, read out the letter in front of the whole Queen Vic, with Frank and Pat standing either side of her. "So, why they're still here is a bit of a mystery," she tells the crowd, her voice cracking with anger. "But one thing I've learned since being married to Mr. Butcher is this: Never underestimate his capacity to make a cock-up of things." We all know Peggy's going to slap them both at the end, but it's still immensely satisfying when it happens.

  6. <iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MBxhX2rGP2Y" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    SHARE IT

    0 Comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 6

    Peggy says goodbye to Pat

    Peggy Mitchell and Pat Butcher were friends as well as enemies, so when Peggy made a brief return to Albert Square in 2013, she had to pay her respects to her late sparring partner, who had died the year before. Touchingly, she says farewell by dropping off a bottle of vodka on the doorstop of Pat's old house and saying, "Cheers, you old cow." Don't be surprised if you find yourself welling up at this one.