EastEnders: June Brown quits Dot Cotton role after 35 years

Adam White
Dot Branning (June Brown) will be among the characters to pay tribute to the Royal baby in the next episode of EastEnders: BBC

EastEnders actor June Brown has revealed she has quit the soap after 35 years.

Brown, who has portrayed chain-smoking Dot Cotton since shortly after the show first aired in 1985, said that she had been left underwhelmed by her recent storylines.

“I’ve left, I’ve left for good,” Brown told Rani Singh on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast. “I’ve sent her off to Ireland where she’ll stay.”

Brown’s last appearance on the BBC soap occurred in January, when she left a voicemail message for Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) explaining that she had fled Albert Square for Ireland.

“I’ve left EastEnders,” Brown, 93, continued. “I did make up a limerick, but it’s a bit dirty, really. I went back to do a good story. Alas and alack, when I got back it had gone up in smoke.

“I got a small part, a very small part. And that ended up as a big, wet fart. Alas and alack, I will never go back.”

Asked by Singh if she had experienced any regrets since making the decision, Brown confessed: “I was feeling down a few days ago. I thought, ‘What’s the matter? Why do I feel so sad?’ It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved.”

Brown was the soap’s longest-running character, despite departing the series from 1992 to 1997, and leaving for six months during 2012 in order to write her autobiography.

Brown’s announcement coincides with the soap’s 35th anniversary, which will see a major character killed off.

Australian soap Neighbours celebrated the milestone, while hinting that both programmes may share the same universe.

To celebrate the show’s birthday, The Independent curated a list of the show’s best forgotten characters.