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Everyone’s favourite pearly queen

September 7, 2006

Someone should really have a word with Barbara Windsor about her hair. Watching ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ (Wednesdays, BBC1 9pm) last night, I had difficulty concentrating on what was going on because of a strange white bird that seemed to be perched on her head. It kept flapping about whenever she did her trademark giggle, threatening to fly off and dive bomb the nice man from the family archives. Now, Babs is quite a small little thing, but her hair was at least twice the size of her. Very odd…

Aaaanyway, last night, Babs went in search of (yes, you’ve guessed it) her faaahhhhmly. Cue scenes of Babs strutting across the country in her stilettos calling everyone “dawlin’” and “sweedard,” and throwing her head back and giggling at the slightest innuendo. But last night was great for learning about cockerny history. We learned that the Pearly Kings and Queens originated from Apple sellers (called Coastas), who would sew pearly buttons on their suits (called ‘the flash’). We learned that the term ‘Eastender’ first originated in the 1880s. And we learned that there’s a photo of Babs’ great grandfather on the fag machine in The Royal Oak pub. How proud…

Babs’ big climax (watch it!) was when she found out that she’s related to John Constable, he of the famous countryside rivers and dramatic clouds. Babs visibly grew about two feet as she swelled with pride and began “thinking about fate and all that sort of thing.”
She discovered that, along the family line, all the money went down the other side, eventually ending up with Constable in the Suffolk countryside, while her side went on to live in ‘work houses’ and poverty in the East End. But in the end, Babs decided that she’s glad her family missed out on all that wealth, or it wouldn’t have made her what she is today (a fabulously rich household name, of course).

All together now, “knees up muvvah brahn…”

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