“And my gratitude to our family, friends and everyone in the media and the general public for all the good wishes and warm support that has been shown to Barbara over the last few years during her illness. Barbara deeply appreciated that.”
At the end of his moving tribute, Mr Mitchell said: “May you rest in peace now my precious Bar.
“I’ve lost my wife, my best friend and soul mate and my heart or life will never feel the same without you.
“I will be making no further statements and now need the time to grieve this painful, personal loss.”
Role as pugnacious Peggy defined her career
Dame Barbara made her debut as Peggy in 1994 and soon became one of the small screen’s best-loved characters as she yelled at rogue drinkers to “get outta my pub!”.
It became the defining role of her career and saw her star alongside Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden as her fictional sons Grant and Phil, with the late Mike Reid as her on-screen husband Frank Butcher.
The character left our screens in 2003 when Dame Barbara took a sabbatical for medical reasons after being diagnosed with the Epstein-Barr virus, but she returned as a series regular in 2005.
In 2009, Dame Barbara announced she would be leaving the soap again in order to spend more time with her husband Scott, who she married in 2000.