“I saw everybody yesterday and I see Babs (Barbara Windsor) for lunch and theatre when I’m in town and I keep in touch with people like Adam (Woodyatt, Ian Beale) and Tish (Letitia Dean, who played Sharon Watts).For the first time, I met the new bunch yesterday.” People had been telling Pam she should write a book for years but it was only after leaving the soap in 2012 that she even entertained the idea.Having spent nearly 26 years playing Walford matriarch Pat Butcher on East Enders, the 72-year-old is one of the nation’s most recognisable stars. I was at college in Devon as well and they I came up to Bruford and I loved it.” She added: “I even worked at St Mary Cray Hospital in my Christmas vacation.And it all started with acting training at the prestigious Rose Bruford college, which has turned out talent such as Dr Who’s Tom Baker, Boardwalk Empire and Snatch’s Stephen Graham and Oscar nominee Gary Oldman. “I needed a holiday job to see me through college and I thought it was a nice way to spend Christmas.Pam, who is at Broadway Shopping Centre in Bexleyheath to sign copies of her memoirs on Wednesday, told News Shopper: “Bexleyheath will be nice because I was at Rose Bruford in Sidcup. I was really just an orderly, sweeping, but it was great and I loved it.” In two and a half decades on East Enders, Pat was frequently at the centre of the action. It was a delightful thing to do because it was just actors who got on with it.One of her favourite storylines was when Pat had an affair with Frank (Mike Read), who was with Peggy (Barbara Windsor) at the time. “We were away from home base and that is always nice because you are just concentrating on one thing.
“It’s the Simon Bates Motel,” she says at one stop-off.
I loved the bowtie scene, where Frank comes round to the back door in just a bowtie." Though she left the show a while ago, Pam said she remains close to the cast.
She said: “We all laugh about the term ‘family’ but it really is like family.
Pat Butcher on the pipe and Christopher Biggins on a whitey: I never thought I would live to see the day.
I have no idea how the programme makers crept this one past ITV commissioners, but I would like to thank every one of them for doing so – Gone to Pot, which continues on Monday, was one of the best things I’ve seen on TV all year, becoming 2017’s equivalent to Danny Dyer discovering he was related to royalty on Who Do You Think You Are last year.
At home, he told us that a medical problem had led to the amputation of three of his toes…one of which he has persevered in vodka behind his in-house bar.