EastEnders fans left in tears as BBC soap pays June Brown tribute with touching title card

EastEnders: Dot Cotton makes first appearance in 1985

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Actress June Brown, who played the legendary character Dot Cotton on EastEnders for more than three decades, died on Sunday, April 3, at her home in Surrey. As one of the BBC soap’s longest-running characters, Dot, who was Watford’s chain-smoking laundrette manageress, appeared in 2,884 episodes of the drama. Following the announcement yesterday, EastEnders paid tribute to the late-soap star after 35 years of service, leaving fans heartbroken.

During her lifetime, June was awarded two honours from the Queen, with the first appointed in 2008 as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to drama and charity. In the 2022 New Year Honours, she was awarded an OBE for her services, once again, to charity and drama.

Paying their respects on Monday, EastEnders offered up an emotional black and white title card with the words: “In loving memory of June Brown OBE, MBE, 1927 – 2022.”

Some members of BBC’s audience rushed in to pay their respects to June, while others were left in tears.

On Twitter, @CHG3899 praised along with a love heart emoji: “Such a lovely episode and perfect tribute to June @bbceastenders #EastEnders #JuneBrown #DotCotton.”

Another user @Evilcon27, gushed: “I just love how they paid tribute to june.

“I’m still sad that the last of the original cast has gone forever. #EastEnders.”

@mishybabez_echoed: “Beautiful tribute to the legendary June Brown R.I.P sleep tight you beautiful angel #Eastenders.”

While sharing a video of the honorary statement at the end of the programme, @MultiHuns shared with a crying emoji: “As soon as the credits rolled without a cut screen for what’s coming next, I knew we’d get this! Rest in peace, June! #Eastenders.”

@feralflemson21 cried: “The June bit at the end #eastenders,” with a tearful emoji too. (sic)

The BBC confirmed the tragic news with a statement that read: “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.”

After seven decades in the industry, the beloved actress has been commended by former co-stars and other TV personalities since the news June had died at her home in Surrey on Sunday with her family by her side.

Adam Woodyatt, who played Ian Beale in the soap for 35 years, had said in a statement: “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,” he told the BBC.

Patsy Palmer, known for her portrayal of Bianca Jackson, posted snaps of the late TV star on her Instagram and wrote: “Oh June, what words can I say about such a wonderful woman!!!! I honestly thought you would be here forever.

“Such a BRILLIANT ACTRESS!!!!! YOU ARE EASTENDERS! Such an ICON and so much fun to work with. I loved working on scenes with you.”

She went on to add: “Always had a fag hanging out your mouth but you wouldn’t be you without it.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said Brown was a “true national treasure”.

“There was nobody quite like June Brown. She captured the zeitgeist of British culture like no other in her many years on our screens,” she said on Twitter.

“Today we’ve lost a true national treasure but my goodness what a life she has led. Rest in peace.”

The BBC’s director-general Tim Davie said: “June Brown was a brilliantly talented actor who was loved by millions. “Her performances as the incomparable Dot Cotton delivered some of the most memorable moments in soap history,” he told the BBC.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday at 7.30pm on BBC One.

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