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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jessica Sansome

Fans remember June Brown for 'iconic' moment she met Lady Gaga on the Graham Norton Show as EastEnders cast pay tribute

There has been an outpouring of tributes to EastEnders star June Brown after the BBC announced news of her death. The soap icon's family confirmed she died, aged 95, surrounded by her family at home in Surrey on Sunday (April 3).

The actress is best known for playing Dot Cotton in the BBC One soap, a role she landed in 1985 and played up until her quiet exit in 2020. But Dot, a devout Christian and hypochondriac, still remained one of Albert Square's most memorable and much-loved characters.

A statement from June's family said on Monday (April 4): "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."

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An EastEnders spokeswoman also said: "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. Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten."

June, best known for playing the role of Dot Cotton, has died (Daily Mirror)

And while many are remembering her remarkable on-screen characters, others are recalling the moment June met Lady Gaga during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show several years ago.

June made quite the entrance on the show, wearing a fur-trimmed coat with a cigarette in one hand. She soon hit it off with American singer Lady Gaga who was impressed by her style.

"I am a really big fan of yours. You are so fabulously dressed. I am honoured to be sitting next to you," Lady Gaga told June before picking up her fellow guest's glass of wine, commenting: "I want to drink from your cup to see what those genes are."

In 2019, June revealed how kind Lady Gaga was to her behind-the-scenes, telling the Daily Star: "She was so funny, intelligent and down to earth, but when she went in front of the press, you could see her put the Gaga persona on."

The Poker Face and Bad Romance singer was so invested in her new friendship that she even invited her on a night out in London. "She saw me sitting on my own and came back, dropped the whole Gaga thing and invited me to a nightclub," June revealed. "Sadly I couldn't make it, but I thought what a charming and talented girl."

But the wholesome TV moment has quickly sprung back into people's minds following the news of June's death with fans sharing clips on social media.

June and Lady Gaga hit it off on the show (BBC)

"Will always remember June Brown when she met Lady Gaga on the Graham Norton show," @jamesglynn tweeted.

@scottygb said: "Never forget when June Brown met Lady Gaga. Both = icons."

"Rest In Peace June Brown (AKA Dot Cotton). Here’s an iconic moment we all loved with @ladygaga," @Oliver11199 commented.

@Shah_Hussain99 shared: "June Brown and Lady Gaga on Graham Norton together was so iconic #RIPJuneBrown."

"RIP June Brown. I will never forget this iconic moment you and @ladygaga became friends!2 @ItsSamsational wrote on Twitter.

@onlyjoekin_ added: "June Brown meeting Lady Gaga on The Graham Norton Show will forever be one of the campest collisions of two pop culture ICONS. BAFTA need to honour her with a posthumous award as compensation for her being robbed at the 2009 BAFTAs."

The cast of EastEnders has been paying tribute to June since the news of her passing broke. Danny Dyer was the first EastEnders cast member to pay tribute to the actress, posting a photo of them together on the soap set on his Instagram page. He wrote: "Rest in peace June. So privileged to have graced the screen with ya. An icon in its truest form."

June in 2015 with Kellie Bright, John Altman, Letitia Dean, and Pam St Clement (PA)

Adam Woodyatt, known for playing Ian Beale on the programme said he was “lost for words” at the death of the “incredible” June Brown at the age of 95. He wrote on Instagram: “I’m lost for words, something June never was. So many memories, so much fun.

"Just purely and simply an incredible woman who had the most incredible life and career. I was fortunate to have shared a small part of it. They never made you a Dame (we did try), but to me you will always be Dame Brown."

Milly Zero. who plays Dotty Cotton, granddaughter of Brown’s famous character. paid tribute to an “artist” and “national treasure." She tweeted: “Rest in perfect peace ‘Grandma Dot’. I have never met anyone who cared about their craft so deeply.

"An artist, a national treasure, an icon & an inspiration to us all. You will always live on in the hearts of everybody you touched. There will never be anyone quite like June."

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