EASTENDERS characters and fans are getting ready to saw goodbye to Dot Cotton.
In emotional scenes, characters from both Dot's past and present will come together to honour her one last time.
When is Dot Cotton's funeral?
EastEnders will air Dot Cotton's funeral on BBC One tonight (December 12, 2022) at 7.35pm.
The special episode will also be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.
In a change from the usual running time, the episode will run for 40 minutes.
The show will honour the late June Brown, who played Dot Cotton, and sadly passed away in April 2022.
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After Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy) received the devastating news of her step-grandmother's death she set about organising Dot's funeral.
The special episode of the BBC soap will see the return of past characters, plus a few surprises.
Among some of the legends who are back for thefuneral are Colin Russell, Mary Smith, Lofty Holloway, Disa O’Brien, Barry Clark and Lauren Branning.
As well as past characters, and current cast, June Brown's own children will have cameos in the funeral scenes.
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Lord Michael Cashman as Colin Russell
The character of Colin Russell is mostly remembered for being Walford's first on-screen gay resident, and featured in the UK's first homosexual kiss.
He appeared in the programme in the 1980s before returning in 2016 to work specifically with June on a storyline involving his wedding.
Talking to the BBC, Lord Michael Cashman said: "When I got the first message asking if I’d be interested in returning, it was an unequivocal, unqualified ‘yes’. I couldn’t imagine Colin not being at his amazing friend Dot’s funeral and I couldn’t imagine not being there for June.
"She created a television icon that will stretch beyond the test of time. I had to be there, and I was humbled that they thought of me."
Linda Davidson as Mary ‘The Punk’ Smith
Mary the Punk is remembered for being Walford's original 80s wild child.
Actress Linda Davidson admitted that June taught her a lot at a young age, telling the BBC: "June always was very nurturing of young talent, particularly of me.
"We did a scene you might remember where Dot and Mary get down on their knees in Mary’s little bedsit, and they pray together.
"June had tutored me in that scene and said, ‘Just be still, darling, it’s the hardest thing for an actress to do, but if you can master being still, you’ll steal the scene’."
Tom Watt as Lofty Holloway
Who can forget Lofty, whooriginally appeared in EastEnders between 1985 and 1988.
Talking about his time on EastEnders, actor Tom Watt told the BBC: "It was really good, and June was a part of that.
"I was also lucky to have worked closely with people like Bill Treacher (Arthur), Wendy Richard (Pauline), Leslie Graham (Den), Anita Dobson (Angie) and Gretchen Franklin (Ethel).
"With June, I looked at everything she did and went, ‘Woooah! Bloody hell!’ You had to respect and admire how she went about what she did."
Jan Graveson as Disa O’Brien
Jan Graveson was known for playing Disa O'Brien from 1990 to 1991.
Speaking about her Walford return she told the BBC: "It’s something that I’ve always wished for in the back of my mind. So, when my agent called me and said that EastEnders had been on the phone, I thought. ‘Goodie! Fantastic!’
"I was so excited and absolutely thrilled. June had always hoped that I would go back. She loved our scenes and our acting together."
Gary Hailes as Barry Clark
Barry Clark is remembered as the unlikely partner of his middle-aged boyfriend Colin.
Speaking about working with the late June, he told the BBC: "June was an amazing person and a character in the truest sense of the word.
"There is no one like June – I’ve never met anyone even close to who she was and what she was like.
"To be asked back for this was really special, especially as I worked a lot with June because of Dot and Barry’s friendship."
Jacqueline Jossa (Lauren Branning)
Jacqueline Jossa played Lauren from 2010 until 2018, before walking away from Albert Square.
The actress admitted she felt it was important to return to represent the Branning side of the family that Dot had.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: "June deserves the send-off she’s going to get at EastEnders, and I wanted to be a part of that and be involved.
"It was nice to be there to represent that side of the Branning family because there are family members always off gallivanting and doing different things."
How to watch EastEnders
EastEnders usually airs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
You can watch it on these days at 7.30pm pn BBC One.
Any missed episodes can be also watched on the BBC iPlayer.
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