Ross Kemp keeps photo of late EastEnders co-star Barbara Windsor in his office

Ross Kemp keeps a special photograph of his former EastEnders co-star Dame Barbara Windsor in his office.

The journalist and actor appeared at The Television and Radio Industries Club (TRIC) Awards on Wednesday, and, speaking exclusively to Daily Star, opened up about his feelings for the late actress.

Barbara, best known for her portrayal of Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders, tragically passed away following a battle with dementia in December last year.

Now Ross, who played Grant Mitchell in the BBC soap, has revealed he has a very special way of keeping her close.

"We knew Barbara and I have a picture of her in my office that she gave to me on the first day I met her, from when she was in her 20s," the star spilled.

He added: "She's timeless. I hope people carry on the memory of how great she was.

"She really was a true icon."

Ross was famously involved in the making of a documentary delving into people living with dementia, along with Barbara's husband Scott.

He said the late star was "very much up for" them putting their heads together for the project, entitled Ross Kemp: Living With Dementia, which was released last year.

"[Barbara was] very much up for the fact of me and Scott making the documentary on dementia," he explained to Daily Star.

Ross also teased that he could one day make a valiant return to EastEnders, admitting when asked about the soap: "I always say 'never say never', because life is too short."

And on his character Grant, he laughed: "I hope he is having more fun than I am!"

Ross became close with Dame Barbara's widower Scott following her death, revealing in March this year that they remain firm friends.

Speaking to OK! Magazine earlier in 2021, Ross said: "I was very much involved and I'm still close to Scott. He's a true friend and always will be.

"It's widely documented that I read the eulogy at her funeral and I was with Scott all the way through it."

Ross added at the time: "I made a documentary with Scott about Alzheimer's and Barbara did know about that. There were pictures of her in it."

The show, released in June last year just months before Barbara's death, left viewers in tears as they watched a five-year-old girl diagnosed with the condition, who struggled to say the word 'mummy'.

The youngster had Sanfillipo syndrome, a form of childhood dementia, which meant her development was reversed.

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