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Dame Barbara Windsor's widower Scott Mitchell shares rare insight into 'wonderful' relationship with partner Tanya Franks

Scott and Tanya confirmed their relationship in 2023

couple sat on blue sofa
Phoebe Tatham
Content Writer
11 March 2024
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Dame Barbara Windsor's widower Scott Mitchell has opened up about his relationship with his partner, former EastEnders actress Tanya Franks.

During an appearance on This Morning, Scott sat down for a candid chat with presenters Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard and spoke about how "lovely" it's been to find love again three years after the death of his late wife Barbara.

four people sat on blue sofa © Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
The couple joined Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard on This Morning

"We did share in common that both of us were being affected by this horrendous disease," he said. "And what it did was it forged an incredible friendship for the first four years or so and something wonderful came out of it". Take a look in the video below...

WATCH: Scott Mitchell opens up about his romance with partner Tanya Franks

Whilst they were drawn together because of their experiences with dementia in their respective families, Scott explained how the blossoming of their relationship was a positive thing. He added: "Thank god it's been a lovely thing… Fortunately I have a partner who doesn't make me feel bad about talking about my late wife or keeping this memory alive. We're both as equally passionate about it".

couple talking on blue sofa © Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Scott and Tanya spoke openly about their romance

Elsewhere in the interview, Scott spoke openly about how he's campaigned to keep Barbara's legacy alive.

"Barbara and I started campaigning back in 2019 when we first went to Downing Street to talk about dementia care in general," he said. "When Barbara passed I then contacted the Prime Minister again and said 'What's happening?' Long story short, I'm really proud to have been a little part of making certain changes with Alzheimer's Research UK, whom I'm an ambassador for".

Of her involvement with the marathon group, Babs' Army, Tanya added: "It was a natural thing for me to say yes because my stepfather has advanced Alzheimer's and so of course I jumped at the chance".

Scott Mitchell and Tanya Franks complete the London Marathon together back in 2019 © Getty Images
Scott Mitchell and Tanya Franks completed the London Marathon together back in 2019

The couple confirmed their romance in 2023 after first bonding back in 2019 when they trained for the London Marathon together. While Tanya confessed that "life feels really good right now," Scott told The Sun: "We are enjoying some special time together."

Scott first ran the marathon back in 2019 for his wife Barbara Windsor, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014. He went on to run the marathon two more times in honour of Barbara, in 2021 and 2023, but earlier in 2023 he admitted he wouldn't be doing it again as he looks to "focus on [his] future and [his] happiness."

Scott Mitchell has said he is happy with Tanya Franks© Shutterstock
The couple went public with their romance in 2023

Opening up, he said at the time: "For the last few years I have tried to keep Barbara's memory alive. I've done my best to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's and dementia but I think after this marathon it will be time to pull back a little."

He added: "It has been really important for me to do but it's now time to focus on myself for a bit".

Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell © Getty Images
Barbara Windsor and Scott Mitchell were together for 27 years

Scott was married to Barbara from 2000 until her death in 2020. At the time of her passing, Scott announced the sad news in a statement that read: "It is with deep sadness that I can confirm that my darling wife Barbara passed away at 8.35pm on Thursday 10 December at a London care home. 

"Her passing was from Alzheimer's/Dementia and Barbara eventually died peacefully and I spent the last seven days by her side".

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