Amy Winehouse’s friend Tyler James has claimed the singer used to make secret visits to late star Barbara Windsor’s home and act out scenes from EastEnders.
According to her best friend, the late Rehab singer would show up at Barbara’s house between treatments for substance abuse and play the actress’ role of pub landlady Peggy Mitchell during their readthroughs.
“Barbara loved it and she’d play Pat Butcher. Amy being Amy, with her accents and impressions, got right into it. There was a proper connection between them. When we left, Barbara always said to me, ‘Look after her, Tyler.’ It was a comforting place for her to go,” he told The Sun.
Tyler also explained how the veteran British actress became a new grandmother figure for the Back to Black star.
“Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner,” he revealed.
“Amy would always give her a massive hug when she saw her. You saw pictures of Amy looking off her head and out of her mind, but when she was with Barbara her upbringing and manners for someone older were on display.
“She had so much respect for Barbara, she could really be herself around her. She loved hearing Barbara’s stories.”
And Barbara, who passed away in December aged 83 following a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and her husband Scott Mitchell would make Amy and Tyler tea and snacks during their visits.
He added: “Barbara was very aware of her problems and we’d all talk about how Amy would become like me – that she’d get there too, that she’d beat alcohol. Barbara was very supportive of that.”
Tyler gave the interview to mark the upcoming tenth anniversary of Amy’s death. She died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27 in July 2011.