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Boris Johnson has paid tribute to Barbara Windsor, saying she “cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness”.

The actress, who played Peggy Mitchell in BBC soap EastEndersdied at a care home in London on Thursday evening following a battle with Alzheimer’s.

The Prime Minister joined a host of celebrities and actors who were keen to pay tribute to one of the nation’s most beloved entertainers.

Mr Johnson said on Twitter: “So sad about Barbara Windsor, so much more than a great pub landlady & Carry On star.

“She campaigned for the lonely and the vulnerable – and cheered the world up with her own British brand of harmless sauciness & innocent scandal. Thoughts with Scott and all her family & friends.”

Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell announced her death and described the actress as his “best friend and soul mate,” adding: “my heart or life will never feel the same without you.”

“Myself, her family and friends will remember Barbara with love, a smile and affection for the many years of her love, fun, friendship and brightness she brought to all our lives and the entertainment she gave to so many thousands of others during her career,” said Mr Mitchell.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said Dame Barbara was a “national treasure” and her death marked a huge loss.

“Her acting brought a smile to people across Britain and she showed incredible courage after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” said Sir Keir on Twitter.

“The country’s thoughts are with Scott and the family.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock added on Twitter: “RIP Dame Barbara Windsor

“A true national icon, and an inspirational campaigner on dementia.”

Dame Barbara Windsor’s former EastEnders co-star Larry Lamb paid tribute.

Talking about the time they met on the set of the soap, he said: “The reason I was there was because she decided she wanted a new man in her life in the show, and I was the one that got chosen.

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