BBC One Commissions Dame Barbara Windsor Drama
Tony Jordan Pens One-Off Special
BBC One has commissioned a 90’ drama charting the life and career of one of the UK’s most celebrated and respected actresses, Dame Barbara Windsor. The one-off special, commissioned by Charlotte Moore, will be penned by our very own Tony Jordan
Babs, which will be produced by BBC Studios in association with Red Planet Pictures, will tell the heart-warming story of Dame Barbara Windsor, the Cockney kid with a dazzling smile and talent to match. The drama will detail the aspiring actresses’ lonely childhood and complicated relationship with her father through to her doomed marriage to Ronnie Knight, the legendary affairs and onto her stellar rise to fame winning the role of the blonde bombshell in the Carry On films and critical acclaim on Broadway.
“The opportunity to tell the story of the amazing Dame Barbara Windsor was too good an opportunity to miss, I think people will be surprised that there’s a lot more to her than just the Carry On Films and EastEnders,” said Tony Jordan. “She was starring in movies and was a huge star of the theatre long before any of those things came along. In the sixties, she was nominated for a BAFTA for her work in the film Sparrows Can’t Sing and a Tony award after appearing on Broadway in the U.S. There’s a reason that, as a nation, we’ve all taken Barbara to our hearts, I think it is because she’s always been one of us, never forgetting where she came from.”
He added: “That unbelievably rare combination of someone in the business with the highest level of professionalism, but without any of the airs and graces to go with it. She’s a national treasure and one of the most remarkable women I’ve met. I only hope this film will do her justice.”
Dame Barbara Windsor said: "Although it's been spoken about in the past to do my life story, it wasn't until two years ago I was approached by the brilliant writer Tony Jordan and the BBC that I knew this was the right time and undoubtedly the only person I felt knew me well enough to tell my story. Tony knows the real me and what makes me tick and I was particularly taken by the way he wants to tell my tale which is not in the way people will expect it to be. Tony certainly has captured the moments of my life that have made me who I am today. I am honoured and excited that Tony and the BBC have commissioned this."
Hilary Salmon, BBC Executive Producer, said: “It’s a privilege to be able to tell Barbara Windsor’s story. Tony Jordan has captured her life with both insight and charm. We look forward to bringing his script to life.”
The drama will go into production later this year for broadcast in 2017. Executive producers are Lorraine Newman and Hilary Salmon for the BBC and Tony Jordan for Red Planet Pictures.