Dame Barbara Windsor has moments of being ''far away'' because of her Alzheimer's disease, her friend Larry Lamb has revealed.

The 82-year-old actress suffers from the brain condition, which affects the sufferer's memory and speech, and though she is ''chatty'' a lot of the time, she also has periods where she struggles but her friend Larry - who she co-starred with in 'EastEnders' - insisted her ''spirit'' is still intact.

Larry told OK! magazine: ''I met her husband Scott a few months ago at a do and he said she is alright and a lot of the time she is chatty, but she has moments where she is far away. Her spirit is still there though, dear old Babs.

''She is certainly very loved and it was one of the big moments of my career getting to play opposite her.''

Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell - who cares for her at their home - recently said that she's still got a sense of humour.

He said: ''The thing that we know about dementia and Alzheimer's is that it's a progressive illness, so you know you're heading in one direction. So, yes, things progress but she still has that wonderful sense of humour, she can still laugh and have a giggle and watch telly, and we go out occasionally.

''Whenever we get an invitation what I say is let's say yes but I will let you know on the day if we're going to be there or not, and it's totally dependent on how Barbara is.

''We have the odd days out, we went to Downing Street and she was shouting at all the photographers and told them to behave themselves.

''Music helps, that's a very common thing. That's the thing about music and dementia it triggers the brain.''