BABS: Little egg's 90 minute life

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BABS: Little egg's 90 minute life

May 10, 2017 - 10:29
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I didn't know much about Barbara Windsor until I started watching those classic Carry On films as a kid, as I grew up in what is now a very busy, noisy and much changed area of Kent.


By Andy Simon @AndySimon55

I didn't know much about Barbara Windsor until I started watching those classic Carry On films as a kid, as I grew up in what is now a very busy, noisy and much changed area of Kent.

I knew she had done Broadway but I had no idea for example Barbara could actually sing.

So Sunday night's biopic, "Babs", on BBC1 was in part a bit of an education as well as an intriguing insight into the life and times of this extraordinary talented woman.

I say intriguing because I was not prepared for the way her story played out on the screen. To some, It would have been a little unusual?

The whole 90 minutes reminded me of a Life Review you read about when someone has had one of those, "Near Death Experiences" (NDE's) and had various bits of their life replayed in front of them.

Intriguing; be it all a little strange.

The young teen Barbara, brilliantly played for me at least, by unknown talent, Honor Kneafsey (some do have very peculiar names these days don't they?) had Barbara's east end of London accent, off to a tea.

The same can be said for Samantha Spiro who played the Barbara I was already well familiar with, thanks to all those carry-on films.

It was also nice to see the real Barbara make an appearance.

The story itself was in parts pretty much similar to that which I have read or seen before, poor-ish background, pushy parents, quick tampered dad etc. However I didn't know Barbara had been a child evacuee during World War Two. That was new to me.

The rest regarding her rise to fame, I knew pretty much anyway.

Although I was surprised carry on colleague Sid James didn't get much of a mention. I did know she had rubbed shoulders with the Kray twins, but I didn't know precisely how it came about.

The supporting cast were good, particularly I thought, Nick Moran who played Barbara's "Jack-the-lad" father, and Luke Allen-Gale who played Ronnie Knight, Babs' wheeler- dealer-geezer husband.

All that fame, the fortune, notoriety, and the other trappings success can bring you, I felt toward the end of this 90 minutes of Barbara's' life review, she would have happily traded in, for a more closer, loving relationship with her father, the one thing I felt, she had really wanted, most of all. Parents eh?

I did notice on Twitter, some who had also watched this 90 minute biopic, were a bit bemused by the way it played out?

Not me.

Having previously read some of the works by Dr Raymond Moody, Eben Alexander, Dr Kubler Ross and Deepak Chopra to mention a few, Dame Barbara Windsor's life review in Babs was an easy, interesting and intriguing story to follow.

I had no problem with the method the producers chose to tell it although I do admit; it must have been very difficult to cram in so many reminiscences into a 90 minute TV film.

But having said all that; writer Tony Jordan and indeed Barbara herself, based on her own biography, "All Of Me: My Extraordinary Life", and with the additional talents of director, "Dominic Leclerc" have between them, done a pretty good job.

However I was a little disappointed she didn't at any time utter her classic line, "Get out of my pub!" Oh well.

In summing up Babs was good drama, well acted, pretty well written and directed. I wouldn't say it was a joy to watch given the sensitive subject matter (no disrespect to Babs) but I would still recommend this to any who like me, would like to know a little more about where these TV, radio and theatre icons (as they are often referred to these days) come from.

For these reasons, Babs is certainly worth watching. In fact; I wouldn't say no to downloading her book too.

Nice job, little egg!

Thanks for reading.