“Barbara is suffering from a bout of bronchitis at the moment so is not at her best, but will be attending anyway,” her agent emailed over before our chat on Saturday following her appearance at SCT’s Charity Shop Strut.
And this seemed to sum her up perfectly. Charming as ever, she chatted fondly about east London and her line of work, brushing off her illness quickly.
After 58 years in showbiz you might expect her to be tired of public appearances by now, but when asked how she was doing after the day, she just said: “I’m me aren’t I? I don’t do anything half arsed, so I didn’t dwell on how I felt and I got on with it.
“As soon as I’m out there in the general public, I know I have a a job to do and for a lot of people it’s the first time they are seeing me - today was good as there was a really nice atmosphere.
“I get lots of events come in and I belong to a lot of charities, but this one appealed to me particularly because it started off in Bethnal Green - which is so close to where I was born.
“Also, with it being an addiction charity I felt that’s such a big deal for the people who are going through things like that and to try to get their lives together.”
The idea for Charity Shop Strut came from two SCT members Colin and Matti, who wanted to get people down to the Bethnal Green store in their best thrift gear and walk with them to the other SCT stores in Roman Road and Chrisp Street.
Reflecting on the Bethnal Green store, Barbara said: “I was amazed how pretty the shop was - there was some great stuff for sale - not like you used to see years ago at charity shops, people would bring in things they wouldn’t want anymore, but all the stuff now seems to be really good.”