Amy Winehouse made secret visits to Barbara Windsors house – Daily Mail

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Amy Winehouse was reportedly a frequent visitor to Barbara Windsor’s house where they would rehearse EastEnders scripts together.

Despite being in hospital for alcoholism, Amy was said to have sneaked out to spend time with Barbara who she saw as her ‘surrogate nan’ following the death of her grandmother Cynthia.

Amy’s best friend Tyler James spoke to The Sun about the singer ahead of the tenth anniversary of her death from alcohol poisoning aged 27. 

Pals: Amy Winehouse was reportedly a frequent visitor to Barbara Windsor's house where they would rehearse EastEnders scripts together (Amy pictured in 2007)

Pals: Amy Winehouse was reportedly a frequent visitor to Barbara Windsor's house where they would rehearse EastEnders scripts together (Amy pictured in 2007)

Pals: Amy Winehouse was reportedly a frequent visitor to Barbara Windsor’s house where they would rehearse EastEnders scripts together (Amy pictured in 2007)

He said: ‘When she met Barbara it was as though she became a new nan figure for her. Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner.

‘Amy would always give her a massive hug when she saw her. 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. 

‘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.’ 

He added that Barbara was teetotal but would have a drink in the house for visitors.

Close: Despite being in hospital for alcoholism, Amy was said to have sneaked out to spend time with Barbara who she saw as her 'surrogate nan' following the death of her grandmother Cynthia (Barbara pictured in 2017)

Close: Despite being in hospital for alcoholism, Amy was said to have sneaked out to spend time with Barbara who she saw as her 'surrogate nan' following the death of her grandmother Cynthia (Barbara pictured in 2017)

Close: Despite being in hospital for alcoholism, Amy was said to have sneaked out to spend time with Barbara who she saw as her ‘surrogate nan’ following the death of her grandmother Cynthia (Barbara pictured in 2017)

Tyler said Barbara would ask him ‘on the sly’ if Amy was alright to have a drink because she didn’t want the responsiblity.

He also said that Amy never visited Barbara to get drunk and would usually only have half a glass of wine on her visits.

Tyler said the visits were sometimes awkward when they would discuss his sobriety while Amy would have a glass of wine in hand. 

Amy was a huge fan of EastEnders with Tyler claiming she would request to play Barbara’s role of Peggy Mitchell when they read the scripts together while Barbara would play Pat Butcher.

Interview: Amy's best friend Tyler James spoke to The Sun about the singer ahead of the tenth anniversary of her death from alcohol poisoning aged 27

Interview: Amy's best friend Tyler James spoke to The Sun about the singer ahead of the tenth anniversary of her death from alcohol poisoning aged 27

Interview: Amy’s best friend Tyler James spoke to The Sun about the singer ahead of the tenth anniversary of her death from alcohol poisoning aged 27

Tyler claimed Amy begged him to marry her and have children together and said there was no doubt in his mind she would’ve been a great mother but was not ready.

Tyler said it ‘devastates’ him that Amy never had children and he also doesn’t think he will ever have them because he was ‘destined’ to have them with her.

Amy’s friend was also a witness to the darker parts of her life and recalled there were times she would be awake for five days straight after ‘doing crack’.

Tyler said he would stay up all night with Amy to make sure she was OK until she would eventually fall asleep beside him. 

Barbara passed away in December 2020 aged 83 following a battle with Azheimer’s disease. 

Tyler’s new book My Amy tells the story of the icon’s troubled life after the pair met at London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School when they were both teenagers.  

He said: 'When she met Barbara it was as though she became a new nan figure for her. Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner

He said: 'When she met Barbara it was as though she became a new nan figure for her. Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner

He said: ‘When she met Barbara it was as though she became a new nan figure for her. Amy was in and out of private hospitals being treated for addiction to alcohol but it was easy to sneak out and Barbara lived round the corner

It comes after Tyler claimed Sheridan Smith saved Amy’s life after an overdose two years before her death.

The singer’s best friend said Cilla star Sheridan, 39, found Amy close to death after she had drunk an entire bottle of Night Nurse and raised the alarm.

The Sun reports even though Amy had been taken to hospital several times, it was the only occasion she ended up at A&E after drinking or taking drugs. 

The Back To Black singer tragically passed away aged 27 on the 23 July 2011 after being found dead in her bed due to alcohol poisoning.  

Past: It comes after Tyler claimed Sheridan Smith saved Amy's life after an overdose two years before her death (pictured in May 2021)

Past: It comes after Tyler claimed Sheridan Smith saved Amy's life after an overdose two years before her death (pictured in May 2021)

Past: It comes after Tyler claimed Sheridan Smith saved Amy’s life after an overdose two years before her death (pictured in May 2021)

He told the publication: ‘Sheridan saved Amy’s life two years before she died. Sheridan was an angel who always did her best for Amy.

‘She would have been dead years earlier if it hadn’t been for Sheridan. I will always be grateful to her because she gave me that extra time with Amy.

‘Sheridan was an amazing friend to Amy. And Amy was to her. They both had demons and mental health issues to face and they helped each other through them. She was a true friend.’

A representative for Sheridan has been contacted by MailOnline for a comment.  

Amy and Sheridan first met in 2009 at a live music event and hit it off straight away, Tyler says in the book.  

Icon: The Back To Black singer tragically passed away aged 27 on the 23 July 2011 after being found dead in her bed due to alcohol poisoning (pictured in 2007)

Icon: The Back To Black singer tragically passed away aged 27 on the 23 July 2011 after being found dead in her bed due to alcohol poisoning (pictured in 2007)

Icon: The Back To Black singer tragically passed away aged 27 on the 23 July 2011 after being found dead in her bed due to alcohol poisoning (pictured in 2007)  

He explained how he could remember the day Amy nearly died ‘as though it was yesterday’ after being woken up by Sheridan at 6am who told him there was ‘something wrong with Amy’.

He claims he found her washing up at the sink but her ‘eyes looked like they were asleep’ before he asked Sheridan what Amy had taken.   

Tyler says that Amy had drunk an entire bottle of Night Nurse to help her get to sleep but it contained enough paracetamol to kill her.

Tyler and Sheridan then called an ambulance and she was taken to A&E in an ‘incoherent’ state. 

He claims if Sheridan hadn’t found her ‘it would have been the end’. 

It comes after last month grave questions about the way music industry executives treated Amy in the weeks before her death were raised by Tyler’s new book. 

Troubled: The Sun reports that even though Amy had been taken to hospital several times, it was the only occasion she ended up at A&E after drinking or taking drugs (pictured in 2008)

Troubled: The Sun reports that even though Amy had been taken to hospital several times, it was the only occasion she ended up at A&E after drinking or taking drugs (pictured in 2008)

Troubled: The Sun reports that even though Amy had been taken to hospital several times, it was the only occasion she ended up at A&E after drinking or taking drugs (pictured in 2008) 

He claimed the singer was so ‘delirious and weak’ after a five-day drinking spree that she had to be helped on to a private jet so that she could perform in a final, disastrous tour of Europe. 

Barely a month later, she was found dead at her home in Camden, North London, aged just 27.

In his harrowing account of the star’s final weeks, James claimed that Amy’s management heaped pressure on her to keep working as she battled her demons, raising questions over whether they failed in their duty of care towards the ailing star.

In his book, which is also being serialised in The Mail on Sunday, James alleges Amy drank so freely that she was unaware even that she had arrived in the Serbian capital Belgrade for the first concert in a 12-date tour.  

He believes she was handed a glass of wine by Raye Cosbert, her booking agent, just before going on stage even though she was taking Librium, an anti-anxiety drug to curb seizures brought on by her alcohol abuse.

Shortly afterwards, the singer was jeered by the audience over her shambolic performance, the last before her death on July 23, 2011, from alcohol poisoning.

James further alleges that Amy, whose estate after her death was valued at £4.25 million, was told by her management team that she needed to fulfil her tour contract because she ‘needed the money’.

Recalling how he watched her being carried on to the aircraft on June 19, 2011, he writes: ‘The day of the show, the boys literally picked Amy up off the sofa, because they were told to, and put her in the car. She was barely conscious.

‘I sat next to her thinking, ‘This is so wrong’. We got to Luton airport, where the private jets fly from, handed our passports out through the window at security and Amy stirred. ‘Where are we, T?’ ‘The airport, Ame.’ She said nothing, rolled her eyes, tutted and pulled the hoodie she’d been wearing for the last five days back over her head.

‘She was so delirious and weak, the boys had to help her on to the plane, arms around her, guiding her up the steps.’

Recalling the moments before her last gig, James writes: ‘I had to go to the toilet and when I came back Amy had downed a glass of wine. 

‘I know how it will have happened – she would have been convinced she needed one to perform and argued with Raye until she got it. If I had been there I would’ve stepped in, as you cannot drink on Librium.

‘Raye held her by the hand and helped her up the steel steps behind the stage. I was standing in the wings like I always did. This time I was crying, dreading what might happen next.’ 

James does not suggest that Mr Cosbert was aware that Amy was taking the medication.

Tough: It comes after last month grave questions about the way music industry executives treated Amy in the weeks before her death were raised by Tyler's new book (pictured in 2011)

Tough: It comes after last month grave questions about the way music industry executives treated Amy in the weeks before her death were raised by Tyler's new book (pictured in 2011)

Tough: It comes after last month grave questions about the way music industry executives treated Amy in the weeks before her death were raised by Tyler’s new book (pictured in 2011)  

He says that the singer, who won acclaim for hits including Rehab and Back To Black before lurching into drink and drug addiction, was desperate not to go on the tour and wanted to work on another album instead. He asserts, however, that she was convinced that she needed the money.

He writes: ‘She definitely didn’t want to do it. ‘Why can’t they wait for me to write another album so I’ve actually got something to say? People must be so bored of Rehab – I know I am.’

‘The next day she started drinking, a full-blown relapse, and she drank for five days. Every day management came round, and every day they’d tell me I needed to get her to stop drinking.’

Mr Cosbert didn’t respond to a request comment but a source close to Amy’s management firm, Metropolis Music, said shortly after her death: ‘Amy really wanted to do the shows. It wasn’t a gruelling tour… She’s a grown woman – it was her decision.’

He said a warm-up gig in London went well and described her addictions as ‘stepping forward and stepping back. You hope that the normal starts overtaking the bad bits.’ 

Close: Tyler's new book My Amy tells the story of the icon's troubled life after the pair met at London's Sylvia Young Theatre School when they were both teenagers

Close: Tyler's new book My Amy tells the story of the icon's troubled life after the pair met at London's Sylvia Young Theatre School when they were both teenagers

Close: Tyler’s new book My Amy tells the story of the icon’s troubled life after the pair met at London’s Sylvia Young Theatre School when they were both teenagers

 

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