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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

BBC EastEnders viewers praise sweet tribute to Dot Cotton that only superfans will have recognised

EastEnders superfans were quick to pick up on a special tribute to Dot Cotton, months after the actress who played her, June Brown, tragically died. Brown, best known for her role as the chain-smoking character, died on April 3 at the age 95 with her family by her side.

During Monday night's trip to Walford, actress Natalie Cassidy recreated the late star's first appearance in the soap, to mark its 37th anniversary. Brown's run as the Albert Square mainstay began on July 4, 1985, when she burst into the Walford cafe asking for a glass of water and paracetamol.

So, Natalie replicated the scene, with her character Sonia Fowler sporting a trench coat and floral dress similar to the one Brown wore in the episode more than three decades ago.

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Speaking to Kathy Beale, played by Gillian Taylforth, Sonia said: “Give us a tea Kath, and a glass of water so I can take a paracetamol. That early shift was a nightmare, I called on the Lord so many times I think I’m turning into Dot."

In the original scene, Dot was served by Lofty, and she said: "Give us a tea Lofty, and a glass of water so I can take a paracetamol." And fans of the BBC One soap were quick to share their thoughts on social media.

@walfordweb tweeted alongside a clip of June's EastEnders debut: "Lovely tribute to Dot’s first ever scene in tonight’s first episode. #EastEnders." @Capripenguin90 replied: "This is really sweet! I love June Brown and Dorothy Cotton! Both legends. She will be missed."

June's first appearance in EastEnders 37 years ago (BBC)

@CHG3899 commented: "Oh my God how did I miss this!" @JermainJulien simply said: "Lovely touch." @mishybabez_ shared: "This was a beautiful moment and June brown will be proud cant believe it's been 37 years since Dots first appearance omg she is a legend #Eastenders."

@BovaryCee commented: "Awww! Love the shout out to Dot with Sonia’s line. First line Dot said when she arrived on the square. #EastEnders." @E20Launderette wrote: "To whoever it was at Team #EastEnders who thought of this, thank you! What a brilliant little nod to a #legend!"

Natalie Cassidy recreated the scene as Sonia alongside Gillian Taylforth as Kathy (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

Brown's death was announced on April 4 in a statement from her family. It said: "We are deeply saddened to announce our beloved mother, June, passed away very peacefully at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening, with her family by her side. We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time."

An EastEnders spokeswoman went on to add: "We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved June Brown, OBE, MBE, sadly passed away last night. There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten.

"June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2,884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders’ finest moments.

"We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends. A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today but we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory." The statement added: "Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten."


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