Amy Winehouse made secret visits to ‘new nan’ Barbara Windsor during rehab spell

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Amy Winehouse had a special connection with Carry On actress Dame Barbara Windsor and would make secret visits to Barbara’s house during her time in rehab.

Although the singer was being treated for her alcohol addiction at a private facility in 2010, a close friend to the hitmaker shared how she would sneak out to visit her “new nan.”

Her best friend Tyler James, 39, says the singer songwriter developed a close friendship with the on-screen actress after the loss of her grandmother Cynthia.

As the countdown to the singer’s tenth anniversary of her passing ever nears, former singer Tyler, who also battled alcohol addiction in his youth, reflected on his time with Amy before her death at the age of 27.

As he shared her intimate connection with Barbara while she bravely fought her addiction, he told The Sun how Amy would always give Barbara a hug when she came to visit.

He said: "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."

The pair would often pull out Barbara's old EastEnders scripts and act together even though Amy always played the role of Peggy Mitchell.

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Tyler added: “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.”

Both Barbara and her husband Scott were teetotal but always had alcohol in for visitors, including Amy when she would pop by to visit.

Although the actress didn’t agree with her decision to drink, Barbara always thought that Amy would kick the habit eventually.

Tyler reflected: “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."

Despite her best efforts, the Back to Black singer sadly passed away from alcohol poisoning on 23 July 2011.

The tenth anniversary will be marked by the BBC with a number of programmes celebrating the singer's life and pop star career.

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