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EastEnders stars pay tribute to Wing

1 of 1 Adam Woodyatt led the tributes to his on-screen grandmother
Adam Woodyatt led the tributes to his on-screen grandmother

EastEnders stars Adam Woodyatt and June Brown have both paid tribute to their former co-star Anna Wing, who died on Sunday at the age of 98.

Woodyatt - who has played Ian Beale for 28 years - is the show's longest-serving cast member, and led the tributes to his on-screen grandmother.

"So sad to hear that Anna Wing has passed away,” he said. “She was a wonderful lady, very helpful and giving - I learned so much from her. I worked with Anna on Witches and the Grinnygog before she became my Gran in EastEnders.

"I remember one episode in particular, number 16, we had a seven-page scene for the cliffhanger - Ian pouring his heart out to his Gran. It was the first time I had to cry on screen and I was terrified I wouldn't be able to do it. Anna was so helpful, happy to rehearse it over and over again and put me completely at ease.

"Sure enough the tears flowed from nowhere and it was the first time Julia's Theme was used at the end of an episode. I have so many fond memories of her, my thoughts are with her family and friends."

June Brown, who plays Dot Branning, also shared happy memories of her time working with Wing. "I had known Anna since we were in a film together many years ago, before having the pleasure of working with her on EastEnders,” she recalled.

“She was a very generous woman in many ways and an excellent actress who made a script her own, lifting the character off the page and made it quite different from what you'd have expected.

"Anna had a true old-fashioned Cockney accent like my grandma. I always enjoyed her company and she often asked me to stay with her, saying that I could smoke on the landing!

"Anna always thought well of everyone and she loved and enjoyed her children and grandchildren. I was very fond of her indeed and will remember Anna with great affection always."

Gillian Taylforth - who played Kathy Beale - also shared her memories of the late actress.

Taylforth told Digital Spy: "I am so very shocked and saddened by this news, what a lovely lady Anna was. It was so great to have worked with her.

"She used to say to me all the time that I should never forget her, so I always sent her birthday and Christmas cards every year.

"My thoughts go out to her family as she spoke about them often. She will be sadly missed."

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