Michael Cashman: Barbara Windsor set me up with my late partner Paul

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Former EastEnders star turned politician Lord Cashman, has revealed he met his late civil partner, Paul Cottingham at a party hosted by fellow EastEnder’s actress Barbara Windsor, who introduced them.

On Wednesday Lord Cashman attended the PinkNews awards, where Ed Miliband paid an emotional tribute to his late partner, Paul Cottingham with a posthumous Lifetime of Achievement award. The Labour leader also awarded Lord Cashman an award for Outstanding Achievement.

In a recent interview with PinkNews, he told of how it was at Barbara Windsor’s party where he was set up with who would become the love of his life.

“Barbara introduced me and Paul in Scarborough in 1983. He was working there as a Butlins red coat and I was a playwrite and actor at the Stephen Joseph theatre with Alan Ayckbourn. So Barbara and I go back a long way with Paul,” he said.

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Lord Cashman received the awards from Ed Miliband

On being sworn into his seat in the House of Lords on Tuesday, Lord Cashman spoke of the support from his celebrity friends and family.

“I looked up at the gallery and there was June Brown and there was Barbara, Paul O’Grady, Ian McKellan, my family- they’re my family but the other parts of my family. And June said to me ‘Oh my dear you look lovely, so regal and I’m still working on you coming back to EastEnders.’ I’ll have to find out what June actually meant, but it won’t be with the ermine,” he said.

He continued: “I took my seat as Peer of the Realm and I said to Black Rod before I was introduced I said, ‘you do realise, I’m being introduced into the Lords but you’re getting two of us because Paul was with me and will be with me. And they were reading about the summons and I was stood there, my heart started booming in my chest, thumping anf thumping away. And I looked up at the gallery and caught they eyes of my family and friends who were up there and then I thought of Paul – I was wearing his suit and his tie and a little smile crept across my face and I thought ‘yep, we’re all right’ so it was him, it was him’.

Lord Cashman added: “They said we were joined at the hip, and my God can we swish.”

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