EastEnders confirm Jaime Winstone will play young Peggy Mitchell in a flashback episode
astEnders have announced that Jaime Winstone will play a young Peggy Mitchell in an upcoming flashback episode.
Mitchell, the matriarchal leader of the family, was originally portrayed by the late Dame Barbara Windsor.
Winstone, the 37-year-old daughter of actor Ray Winstone, previously played a younger version of Dame Barbara herself in the BBC biopic Babs in 2017.
Dame Barbara joined the soap in 1994 and was one of its biggest stars until her exit in 2016.
The actress died in 2020 aged 83 after living with Alzheimer’s disease for six years.
Speaking about taking on the role of Peggy Mitchell, Winstone said: “It’s been such an honour to step into Peggy Mitchell’s shoes for the first time, and into Barbara’s shoes for the second time.
“There’s certainly a healthy amount of pressure when you’re taking on such an iconic role – I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
She went on to say that it had “really cemented my love and admiration for Barbara,” adding she hoped she had “done her justice.”
The upcoming episode, which will air in the autumn, will also feature a mix of current characters alongside ones who have never been seen on screen before.
The line-up includes Peggy’s husband Eric (George Russo), Billy Mitchell’s older brother Charlie (Charlie Heptinstall) and Billy and Charlie’s father Stephen (Dean Roberts).
Set in the winter of 1979, it will see the Mitchell family “hit hard by a Britain in economic turmoil” and Peggy struggling to keep things afloat as her marriage to Eric is “showing its cracks”.
Viewers will also be taken on a journey back to present-day Phil’s (Steve McFadden) youth where “clues to his present will undoubtedly be revealed”, a spokesman for the soap said.
Chris Clenshaw, EastEnders’ executive producer, said the episode will “delve into the family’s past”.
He added: “There are twists, turns and secrets revealed – after all, trouble is never too far away where the Mitchells are concerned.”