She’s been gone for a mere eight months, but Dot Branning will find that a lot has changed in her absence. Derek is dead, Cora has stolen her job, Sharon is engaged to Jack, Max has a wife called Kirsty and – most surprisingly of all – granddaughter Lauren has taken up with Joey.
Show stalwart June Brown is to return to the BBC1 soap on Monday 14 January, with Dot set to be horrified by what she sees as slipping standards. And while a reunion dinner goes some way to make her feel special, Dot can’t help but be alienated by the sight of boxer shorts wedged down the sofa, cousins getting into a relationship together and a usurper ensconced at the launderette.
Pretty soon, Dot is on a one-woman mission to save those around her, with Lauren coming in for a lecture on the sins of the father. And while Poppy earns brownie points after baking a cake for Dot, Cora is reprimanded for turning her house into a pigsty and is ordered to pack her bags and leave.
But it’s Dot herself who’ll end the week in trouble when a council worker realises that she’s been subletting No 25 Albert Square. Could Dot end up regretting her return to Walford?