Babs (2017)

Samantha Spiro has portrayed Barbara Windsor a few times, firstly in the play 'Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick', and then in its television adaptation Cor, Blimey! In Babs she returns to the well one more time, sharing the role with four other actresses. Spiro portrays post-Carry On Babs, Honor Kneafsey and Florence Keen dispense with the childhood Babs, while a miscast Jaime Winstone handles the intervening years. Rounding out the quintet and providing a much-needed laugh, Barbara Windsor herself occasionally drops by to pass comment on proceedings.

 

Serving as both a prequel and sequel to Cor Blimey!, this biopic opens with Babs “clocking 60 and skint”. Resting between performances of her one-person show, she is visited by an apparition of her father who advises her to “think through what happened, work out what you did wrong, and don’t do it again!” Cue flashback to childhood where the combined effect of a stage mother and an estranged father lead to a life of performing and a dubious taste in men.

 

The assuredness that this handsome production plays with the biopic formula is undermined by a distracting determination to mention every one of Windsor’s achievements, be it BAFTA and TONY award nominations or the fact that Warren Beatty may have once fancied her. 

 

Nevertheless, there are the occasional in-jokes to keep fans of the actress amused, including reference to her long-running role in the popular British soap opera - 'EastEnders'.

1/4

Barbara Windsor informed Ronnie Knight that she was pregnant before she had an abortion, not afterwards as depicted in the biopic.

 

Biopic infers Windsor’s mother-in-law stopped her form contacting her father. However, in her autobiography 'All of Me: My Extraordinary Life', Windsor notes that it was her work that prevented her keeping in contact with her father.

Biopic features some behind the scenes drama from Too Hot to Handle and a clip from Sparrows Can’t Sing. However the only scene recreation is from Carry On Spying (00:46)

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