THE BBC recently paid tribute to Barbara Windsor in “Babs”, a dissatisfying and disjointed drama, so you might be glad to hear that this programme tells the story straight. No tricks, no flashbacks, no cameos, no ghosts; just a very colourful biography of the chirpy, gutsy actress.

The programme focuses on her later years in EastEnders, but the earlier stuff is undoubtedly the most interesting, where she breaks into theatre despite being a working-class girl without the grace and eloquence of the Rada set, and then she starts being escorted around glitzy 60s London by gangland figures including, famously, the Krays.

We also learn about her close relationships with Sid James and Kenneth Williams. There are fond contributions here from showbiz pals such as Bernard Cribbens, Ross Kemp, Michael Sheen, Una Stubbs and Pam St Clement.


I KEEP telling myself I won’t laugh at these daft shows. After all, they’re just bundled together clips from his old sitcoms, bits of interviews and scenes from his stand-up.

There’s nothing (or “nowt”, as he’d have it) new here. It’ll just be cheesy old jokes about mothers-in-law and garlic bread.

So I say I won’t laugh, and I when I sit down to watch it I treat it as a bit of a chore, but then, against my will, and against my better judgment, I laugh out loud.

By the end of the show, I’m wishing I was young and innocent again, and could laugh at stuff just because it’s daft and without having to analyse whether it’s offensive or politically correct.

Peter Kay and his gentle, old-fashioned comedy gives you permission to be young and unconcerned.

Tonight, snooker star Dennis Taylor makes a guest appearance and we get jokes on dieting plus tearful clips from Car Share.