Legendary British TV pub landlady bows out
One of Britain's best-loved television characters, pub landlady Peggy Mitchell, bowed out on Friday after 16 years at the heart of long-running BBC soap "EastEnders".
Mitchell was played by 73-year-old actress Barbara Windsor, who found fame as a buxom blonde in the "Carry On" movies of the 1960s and 1970s.
Since 1994 Windsor has played the loveable, no-nonsense landlady of the Queen Victoria boozer in the show, set in east London. Mitchell's catchphrase was screeching "Get out of my pub!" as another unwelcome customer got the boot.
"EastEnders", the BBC's most popular domestic programme, is celebrating 25 years on television this year.
In Thursday's episode viewers were left with a cliffhanger as the Queen Vic, which has in the past counted Queen Elizabeth II among its customers, went up in flames following a typically explosive family row.
The BBC, which broadcasts the show in Britain and on BBC Worldwide, had been tight-lipped about how Mitchell would leave the show.
But the matriarch walked out of the soap's Albert Square on Friday, after a turning round for a farewell glance at the charred Queen Vic.
She begged her crack addict son Phil to leave with her but after he accused her of having put the pub before him, she bade a string of emotional goodbyes and left alone to start afresh.
She delivered her final line with a tear in her eye, telling Phil: "Go back inside, love. Go on, I'll be fine. Go on, darling, go back inside."
© 2010 AFP