EastEnders fans in tears at touching twist to Dot Cotton's tribute episode

June Brown as Dot Cotton
EastEnders honoured soap legend Dot Cotton in a special ending twist. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders viewers sobbed during last night's episode (Thursday, December 1) as the soap honoured EastEnders legend Dot Cotton (June Brown) with a poignant twist to the end credits.

Dot's death was written into the soap after actress June sadly passed away in April at the age of 95 after becoming a national treasure playing Dot in the long-running soap for 31 years.

In the heartbreaking episode, Dot's step-granddaughter Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) received a phone call telling her that Dot had passed away.

She then headed over to the Vic, who were all at the Albert Square Christmas Party, to tell the residents the tragic news, where Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) and Dot's other granddaughter Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) burst into tears at the announcement.

The rest of the residents were devastated to learn of Dot's death, who deeply admired her for the many years she stayed in Walford.

Martin Fowler comforting a crying Sharon Watts

The residents were devastated to learn of Dot's passing. (Image credit: BBC)

When Martin Fowler (James Bye) asked Sonia how Dot died, she replied: "She had dinner with Charlie and her great-grandkids. Had a final ciggie and went up to bed with a paracetamol. Last thing she said was, 'I've got one of my heads coming on.' She didn't suffer. 

"She fell asleep, peacefully. Charlie found her this morning. Rollers in. Packet of fags and her Bible next to her."

A heartbroken Patrick (Rudolph Walker) decided to pay tribute to his long-time best friend by standing up and announcing: "Dot is not a sentimental woman and if she was here now she'd be judging every single one of us and enjoying every second of it."

"What can we do to remember her? I tell you what, let us give her something that she will disapprove of" he added and raised his glass in a toast, "to Dot".

The residents decided to go through with the Christmas lights switch on in honour of Dot and as everyone gathered around the Square, Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) said some touching words about Dot and switched them on.

Sonia looked emotional as she returned home, which was once Dot's house when she lived in Walford, and went into the living room where Dot had many a gossip, sherries and cigarettes.

Sonia Fowler looking sad as she looks in the living room

Sonia Fowler said a sad farewell to her much-loved grandmother. (Image credit: BBC)

As she looked into the living room, she picked up a family photo of her with Dot, Jim Branning (John Bardon) and her brother Robbie Jackson (Dean Gaffney).

She had a sad smile as she looked over the dark living room and stood by the door, saying goodbye to her beloved grandmother one last time.

"Goodnight, Dot," she whispered, before closing the door.

The final credits then rolled over the dark room with the clock ticking in the background — with the show's usual theme tune and 'Duff Duff' noticeably absent in a silent tribute to honour one of the soap's most legendary characters.

Fans bawled at the special ending and the poignant tribute to the soap legend... 

EastEnders airs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm on BBC One — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace was a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, and she now writes for our sister site TechRadar. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.