June Brown to receive 'fitting tribute' in Eastenders special episode

June Brown pictured in 1997.
June Brown provided viewers of Eastenders with one of its best-loved and most memorable figures, Dot Cotton. Credit: PA

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.

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, according to the broadcaster.

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.

“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.”

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Brown first set foot in Walford’s Albert Square in 1985, during 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.

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

Brown, who was made an MBE in 2008, was further recognised for her services to drama and charity, in December 2021, when she was made an OBE in the New Years Honours.