I am an American (and not a very old one at that) so I never saw the "Carry On" films. I first "met" Barbara Windsor when she toddled onto the screen as the second Peggy Mitchell on EastEnders. Hearing her referred to as a national treasure by many EE fans I thought that I would give the book a go. I'm not sorry that I did.
Overall, it was well-written in a colloquial way, however I wish that her editor had cleaned up a few things from spelling ("OK" for "okay") to facts (contrary to Miss Windsor's belief, there actually have been 2 full-scale wars fought on American soil - the Revolutionary War and the Civil War). Whatever weaknesses the book has, she seems likable and tells an interesting story.
Because I never saw her as the big breasted "Carry On" girl, I had no preconceived notions about who or what she is. I was ready to accept her at her word. From her unhappy, often unstable, childhood through her many abortions, affairs, and marriages she comes alive through the pages. She relays her life's experiences with a great deal of enthusiasm and wit, albeit with too much naivete to be believed. (If she really had no idea that Ronnie Knight was a gangster, how come she had Freddie Foreman's home phone number?) She seems to be attempting painful honesty about some things (abortions, affairs) yet glosses over other events (Knight's source of income, why she allowed her affair with Sid to continue.)
I have read several other television autobiographies (Martine McCutcheon's and Mike Reid's come to mind) and Miss Windsor seems to have put in the most effort to recall details and express herself clearly. If there are things that she chooses to fudge . . . well, they don't harm the book that much. And having liked her before, I like her better now for having read it.
Doing so was a quick, easy, interesting way to pass beach hours.