Jake Wood is grateful to Dame Barbara Windsor for taking him under her wing ahead of his "daunting" 'EastEnders' debut.

Jake Wood

Jake Wood

The soap star joined the BBC One show over a decade ago, and he has admitted his legendary co-star - who is living with dementia after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014 - gave him "lots of advice" to make his early days on set as relaxed as possible.

He said: "I remember when I started on 'EastEnders' 12 years ago Barbara really took me under her wing. It's very daunting starting on a show like 'EastEnders'.

"It's part of British life so as an actor you're quite nervous coming in. I'll always remember Barbara sort of giving me lots of advice and just making sure I was comfortable really. So she's always been a really good friend to me."

Jake will join the likes of Adam Woodyatt, Natalie Cassidy and Barbara's husband Scott Mitchell to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon on April 28 as team Barbara's Revolutionaries.

They are taking on the challenge in aid of the Dementia Revolution campaign from Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK.

Speaking on the group's official Twitter account, he added: "It's been very tough the last couple of years for them [Barbara and Scott], and spending time with them you sort of see the effects that Barbara's dementia has had, not only on Barbara but also on Scott. I just wanted to something really as a result of seeing what they're going through."

He also praised the actress as a "legend" across the country, and said her popularity extends well beyond Albert Square.

He said: "Barbara is such a well-loved figure in this country isn't she? Not just by all of us at 'EastEnders' but by the whole nation. She's a legend."