Walford to bid final farewell to EastEnders legend Dot Cotton

Actress June Brown was the backbone of one of Britain’s best loved soaps.
Actress June Brown was the backbone of one of Britain’s best loved soaps.

The residents of Albert Square will say their final farewells to Dot Cotton in a special episode honouring the death of EastEnders stalwart June Brown, the BBC have said.

Brown became a cultural fixture for her long-running turn as the inimitable Dot Branning – best known as Dot Cotton, the character’s previous married name – providing Walford with one of its best-loved and most memorable figures.

The actress, who played the chain-smoking hypochondriac Dot for more than 30 years, died at her home on April 3 aged 95.

June Brown documentary
June Brown (BBC/PA)

In a special EastEnders episode airing this winter, Dot’s friends and family will come together to say their final farewells at her funeral after news of her death reaches Albert Square.

The character is currently residing in Ireland but as per Dot’s wishes, her funeral will be held in Walford, with her family and friends giving her the send-off she deserves, the BBC have said.

Executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: “Everyone at EastEnders was truly heartbroken when June passed away earlier this year and, for quite a while, no-one could even think about saying goodbye to Dot; an iconic character who will go down in television history and be cherished forever.

“June was always adamant that she never wanted Dot’s time to end while she was still with us, but she also knew that EastEnders would rightly say their farewells to Dot when the time was right.

“Sadly that time has come and we are determined to give the audience, who treasured Dot for so many years, the fitting tribute that she so deeply deserves.

Queen Visits Eastenders
The Queen during her visit to Elstree Studios meeting June Brown and Dame Barbara Windsor in the make-up room (Fiona Hanson/PA)

“So whilst it will be a very, very sad day in Walford, we will be giving Dot the send-off that she and June would want and rightly deserve.”

Brown first set foot in Walford’s Albert Square in 1985 in the soap’s 40th episode in a role that would come to define her, taking a break between 1993 and 1997.

In 2008 she became the first EastEnders actress to carry an entire episode single-handed.

In it, Cotton dictated her life story to a cassette, so her husband could listen to it in hospital following a stroke.

In December 2021 Brown was made an OBE in the New Year Honours, as she was recognised for services to drama and to charity.

She was previously made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008 for services to drama and charity.