EastEnders airs scene they werent allowed to do in the 1980s

Eastenders' Charlie Brooks on her new National Theatre play

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EastEnders’ Dot Cotton (played by June Brown) had been in the BBC soap for more than 30 years before leaving with her grandson Charles Cotton (Declan Bennett) for Ireland in 2020. Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) announced the sad news in the Queen Vic and got to work on preparing her funeral. She put a message in the Walford Gazette to share details of the service which brought back some former residents of Albert Square to share their respects.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from EastEnders.

Colin Russell (Michael Cashman) moved in with Dot when his family disowned him for admitting he was gay.

While Dot didn’t agree with Colin’s sexuality due to her religious beliefs, the pair developed a close friendship during their time together.

He met his younger boyfriend Barry Clark (Gary Hailes) at a disco off-screen before he moved into the former’s flat, even though Dot wasn’t exactly thrilled about it.

The pair made history in 1989 when they had the first ever gay kiss in a soap, which caused plenty of controversy at the time.

Sadly, Colin and Barry didn’t end up together with the former leaving to live with his brother when he was diagnosed with MS.

He made a brief return to EastEnders in 2016 where fans found out he married a man called Eddie but when Colin is back for Dot’s funeral, he reveals that his husband passed away.

His story ended on a good note though as it was revealed he and Barry rekindled their romance decades later.

They shared a passionate kiss in Barry’s car before the couple drove away from Albert Square.

Barry actor Gary Hailes opened up on their final scene and the kiss.

He told Express.co.uk and other press: “I always thought Colin and Barry should be together, it’s a positive image.

“It’s the whole idea of from the very beginning, was to do something with a positive image and change people’s perceptions of gay relationships and gay people.

“I just think it’s really special that that’s the end as it were and they do get back together and they did the kiss that they were never allowed to back in the 1980s.”

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Hailes added: “When I read the script at home, it is just so well written, it’s stunning and so easy to do and because it’s so easy to do, it was like slipping back into something that was just so comfortable and Michael [Cashman] is a brilliant actor.”

Their romance and kiss in the 1980s was seen as controversial at the time for EastEnders fans with same-sex marriages only being legalised in the UK in 2013.

While the reaction wasn’t entirely positive during this period, this storyline did a lot of good.

According to the Metro, Hailes still hears of how Colin and Barry’s relationship changed viewers’ lives.

He said: “I periodically get letters from people telling me they are marrying their boyfriend, and they can do that because of what we did back then.

“Apparently, they used the scene where Dot realises that Barry and Colin share a bed in schools to educate people about gay relationships.”

EastEnders is available to watch on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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