June Browns children asked to appear in Dot Cottons funeral scenes

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EastEnders fans are expected to be in floods of tears next week as the BBC drama airs Dot Cotton’s (played by June Brown) funeral. She was a stalwart figure in Albert Square, known as the resident busybody who always had a kind word and a Bible passage to share. These scenes are airing eight months after the actress June Brown died in real life at the age of 95.

June Brown first made an appearance in Walford in 1985 after Den Watts star Leslie Grantham recommended her for the role of Dot.

She was always on hand for those who needed guidance and somewhere to stay and was beloved by the local community for decades.

Brown was in EastEnders up until 2020, having only taken a four-year break in the mid-1990s.

Dot left Albert Square so she could go and live with her grandson Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett) in Ireland.

Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) was devastated to hear of her grandmother’s passing and got straight to work on organising her funeral.

These moving scenes will be airing next week in EastEnders with plenty of stars, old and new, who loved Dot and wish to pay their respects.

Fans will notice a few faces though that they may not recognise gathered in the church.

Sat next to the upcoming new character Reiss Colwell (Jonny Freeman) in the ceremony are none other than three of June Brown’s five real-life children.

At a screening for EastEnders’ funeral episodes, executive Chris Clenshaw explained that it was actually June’s children Nim, Sophie and Billy who requested to make an appearance.

He told Express.co.uk and other press: “EastEnders meant obviously a lot to June and it was a huge part of their lives too.

“So they approached us, they asked if they could be part of the episode and we thought it was a lovely idea.

“You may have got a tiny glimpse of them there, they’re sat with Reiss in the church.”

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Clenshaw continued: “They [June’s children] got in touch after we shot the episode and they had an absolutely wonderful day.

“The cast were reminiscing and sharing stories about June which they thought was lovely so it was a really nice time.”

June didn’t have any children from her first marriage to John Garley but had six with her second husband Robert Arnold.

They had all of their children within a seven-year period but their daughter Chloe died after she was born prematurely at just 28 weeks.

June sadly passed away on April 3, 2022, peacefully at her home in Surrey.

A statement from her family at the time read: “We are deeply saddened to announce our beloved mother, June, passed away very peacefully at her home in Surrey on Sunday evening, with her family by her side.

“We would kindly ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

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

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