Residents of Albert Square will pay tribute to the late June Brown in a special episode of EastEnders, the BBC has announced.

Brown played Dot Branning – better known as Dot Cotton, the character’s previous married name – for more than 30 years before dying at her home in April, aged 95.

Often seen with a cigarette in her hand, and always ready with a dry comment or two, Cotton was the devoutly religious, laundrette-running hypochondriac adored by viewers.

Her EastEnders character had been living in Ireland since early 2020, but the TV soap will show news of her death reaching Albert Square before her funeral takes place in Walford, as per her final wishes.

The show’s 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.”

Read more:
Some of Dot Cotton’s most memorable moments in EastEnders

Brown first appeared in EastEnders in 1985, but took a break from the show between 1993 and 1997.

In 2008, she became the show’s first actress to carry an episode by herself, when her character dictated her life story to a cassette, so her husband could listen to it in hospital after he suffered a stroke.

Brown was made an OBE in the New Year Honours in December 2021 and an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2008, both times for services to drama and charity.

The special episode of EastEnders will air this winter.