June Brown has decided to quit EastEnders after 35 years playing Dot Cotton.
The actress, 93, has decided to bow out of the soap after more than three decades, explaining she was dissatisfied with some of her recent storylines.
Speaking on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast, June said: ‘It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved. I don’t want a retainer for EastEnders, I’ve left. I’ve left for good.
Saying goodbye: June Brown has reportedly quit EastEnders after 35 years playing Dot Cotton
‘I’ve sent her off to Ireland where she’ll stay. I’ve left EastEnders. I did make up a limerick. It’s a bit dirty.
June then recited the limerick: ‘I went back to do a good story. Alas and alack, when I got back it had gone up in smoke. I got a small part, a very small part. And that ended up as a big wet fart. Alas and alack, I will never go back.’
Dot has not been seen on EastEnders since last month when she left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) informing her she had moved to Ireland.
June spoke to actress Rani Sinh, who played Sufia Karim on the soap from 1988 to 1990 about her decision to quit, saying she had no interest in a retainer contract.
Quitting: The actress has decided to bow out of the soap after more than three decades as she was disappointed by the quality of her recent storylines (pictured in 2013)
Although she has been firm in her decision not to return to Watford, June has mourned leaving the show, likening it to a bereavement.
She said: ‘I was feeling down a few days ago. I thought, “What’s the matter? Why do I feel so sad?” It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved.’
‘I’ve played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn’t me, but spiritually she probably was.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for EastEnders for comment.
Bowing out: June, who has been on the show for more than three decades, said: ‘It’s almost as if I’ve been bereaved. I’ve left’ (pictured left, in 1991, and right, in 2011)
According to The Sun, EastEnders bosses are surprised at June’s decision to leave the soap and her dressing room is said to have not yet been cleaned out.
A source said : ‘Everyone is a little baffled by this as June’s dressing room and all her contents are still where they have always been.
‘In fact we were under the impression that she is attending a gathering to mark the 35th anniversary.’
Dot made her first appearance on Albert Square in July 1985 as the mother of notorious criminal Nick Cotton (John Altman).
The character, known for her chain-smoking, has been a staple of the show ever since and is one of its most beloved characters.
Dot temporarily left the soap between 1993 and 1997 before she returned to the square while June also took six months off in 2012 to write her autobiography.
Debut: Dot made her first appearance on Albert Square in July 1985 as the mother of notorious criminal Nick Cotton (John Altman)
Icon: The character, known for her chain-smoking, has been a staple of the show ever since and is one of its most beloved characters (pictured in 1991)
History: Dot left the soap between 1993 and 1997 before she returned to the square while June also took six months off in 2012 to write her autobiography (pictured in 1989)
On the podcast, June told how she got the role on the soap after the late actor Leslie Grantham recommended her to producers just a few months after the show began.
She joked: ‘I think I got it because they thought I was a punctual actress. I’m not really, but I became so.’
Dot’s enduring popularity with viewers turned June into a cultural icon, adored by the soap’s legions of fans.
Although she loved portraying the character, the actress admitted her fame was sometimes difficult for her family to deal with.
She said: ‘They got fed up with it. If we went shopping and people would stop for an autograph, nowadays it’s a selfie, you’re always being stopped.
‘I would always stop. They put you where you are don’t they? Your fans. You should appreciate your fans.’
Shocking: One of Dot’s biggest storylines in recent years was for the show’s 30th anniversary when she gave her son Nick a fatal dose of heroin and let him die
One of Dot’s biggest storylines in recent years was for the show’s 30th anniversary when she gave her son Nick a fatal dose of heroin and let him die.
The character began to appear less frequently from February 2015 due to June gradually losing her eyesight and having difficulty reading the scripts.
This was later written into the character the following year, with June making sporadic appearances on EastEnders since 2017.
Speaking about her future plans away from the soap, June revealed she has hopes to make a documentary.
She said: ‘I’m hoping to do a documentary but I can’t talk about it as someone might steal it.’
Plans: Speaking about her future plans away from the soap, June revealed she has hopes to make a documentary
Dot’s Biggest Storylines