EastEnders fans salute June Brown as she leaves the soap 'for good'

EastEnders Dot Branning

June has been a part of the soap since 1985…

EastEnders legend Dot Cotton has officially left Albert Square, with actress June Brown confirming her departure.

Speaking to podcast Distinct Nostalgia, the 93-year-old actress said, “I’ve left for good.”

EastEnders Dot Cotton

June is a huge fan favourite  (credit: Getty Images) (Image credit: Getty Images)

June Brown has been part of the EastEnders family almost since the soap was created - she first appeared on 4th July 1985 - making her one of the longest-running characters and a favourite among fans.

Dot has not appeared in an episode since January, with her last scene seeing her leaving a voicemail for Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) to tell her she had moved to Ireland.

Dot Cotton exit on EastEnders BBC

Dot left Sonia a message revealing she had moved away to Ireland.

June seems very content with her decision, telling Rani Singh that she doesn’t want a retainer. She added, “I’ve left. I’ve left for good. I’ve sent myself to Ireland and that’s where she’ll stay. I’ve left EastEnders.”

Fans have taken to Twitter to share tributes to Dot Cotton, who has starred in a whopping 2,349 episodes over her career.

She took a break between 1993 and 1997, but has been a much-loved member of the cast for years.

One fan wrote, “Can’t believe June Brown is leaving EastEnders after 35 years in the soap, Dot Cotton will FOREVER Remain the Most ICONIC Character EastEnders has ever created. #DotCotton #JuneBrown #EastEnders

Another added, “June Brown is a brilliant actress and Dot Cotton will forever remain an iconic character with her iconic phrase, 'oh, I say.' I cannot believe she's leaving.”

A third said, “Can't believe my favourite soap character,Dot Cotton will never be on #EastEnders again. It was a quick 35 years! Hope June Brown enjoys her retirement. #GoodbyeDot goodbye.”

Despite June saying that she’s left “for good”, an EastEnders spokesperson has revealed that she would be welcome back if she decided she wanted to star again.

They said, “We never discuss artists' contracts, however as far as EastEnders are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has if the story arises and if June wishes to take part."

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the WhatToWatch.com team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Now she works for our sister site TechRadar in the same role. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress