Dame Barbara Windsor was a "nan figure" to Amy Winehouse.

Barbara Windsor helps unveil Amy Winehouse statue

Barbara Windsor helps unveil Amy Winehouse statue

According to the late 'Rehab' hitmaker's close friend Tyler James, the singer would "sneak out" of a private hospital to visit the 'EastEnders' legend - who passed away in December following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease - in 2010 as they shared a close bond.

The 'My Amy' author told The Sun newspaper: “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."

The Peggy Mitchell actress was like a "surrogate nan" to Amy - who was seeking treatment for alcohol addiction at the time - after she lost her grandmother Cynthia and "very supportive" of her fight to sobriety.

Tyler continued: “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 and her husband Scott would make us tea and sandwiches, and sometimes Amy would ask for a drink.

"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.

“Barbara was teetotal too but they had drink in the house for visitors."

What's more, Amy would help Barbara rehearse her storylines for the soap.

He 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.”

July 23 marks a decade since the 'Tears Dry on Their Own' hitmaker's death from accidental alcohol poisoning at the age of 27.

On what he would tell her if she was still alive, Tyler said: "If I saw her today, I would tell her, ‘I love you more than anything in the world’, because I still do.

“I will never, ever stop loving my Amy.”