Scott Mitchell, widower to EastEnders star Barbara Windsor, has shared details of how he began dating girlfriend Tanya Franks.
The couple’s relationship was confirmed earlier this year, with the pair stepping out together during the summer, four years after they ran a marathon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK in Dame Barbara’s name after she died from the disease in 2020.
Tanya, 55, is best known for playing Rainie Cross in the same BBC One soap that Windsor starred on.
Now Scott, 60, has spoken more about how their relationship developed over the years.
Appearing on Lorraine on Thursday, Scott shared that before her death, his late wife had told him to find love and happiness again after she died.
‘She was such a generous lady and had such a generous spirit. She always used to say I’ll go first and be upset and be heartbroken but once you’ve done that, please live the best life you can’ he said.
‘And that’s what I’m doing.’
He went on to explain details of his romance with Tanya, saying that it had ‘started off as an incredible friendship’.
‘It’s developed into more and we are very happy.’
He added: ‘It’s been really lovely and she is incredibly supportive of the work I do for and I have no fears or worries that she is [worried about me campaigning for the disease that took his late wife].
‘She has her own family experience of his horrible illness and knows what it is all about.
‘Thank goodness life feels good.’
Scott went on to explain that after spending 27 years with Windsor, she would ‘always hold a special place in my heart’, but that him ‘being miserable or alone wouldn’t bring her back and she wouldn’t want that’.
‘I know the one person who would be really happy for me is Barbara Windsor.’
In the interview Scott also spoke about how the grieving process for his late wife began all the way back in 2014 when she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
‘My grieving for her started back in 2014 and slowly you have to watch the deterioration of the person you love and they are still there,’ he explained.
‘I grieved for her again when I had to let her go into a care home, and then when she passed and then the following years after that.’
Scott was married to the late Peggy Mitchell icon from 2000 until her death in 2020.
Last year Tanya left her role as Rainie on EastEnders after she reunited with husband Stuart Highway (Ricky Champ) and decided to start a new life elsewhere with their son, Roland.
Lorraine airs weekdays from 9am on ITV1.
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