Villainous Nick Cotton looks set to be given an off-screen death in an upcoming episode of EastEnders, 29 years on from his original appearance. In scenes to be shown later this month, mum Dot (June Brown) will be visited by the police and told that her murderous offspring has met his maker.
The character of Nick (played by John Altman) made his debut in the BBC1 soap’s opening episode in 1985 where he was seen getting barred from the Queen Vic pub following a fight with café owner Ali Osman.
Since that time, Nick’s storylines have seen him commit murder, battle with a heroin addiction and attempt to poison his dear old Ma. He was last seen in 2009 when he exited following a fire at the café that he had started.
The show’s current executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has said previously about the Walford bad boy: “It’s good to have an out-and-out villain. I think sometimes you can get a character and go, ‘oh, they should have a good side as well, and maybe we should redeem them a little bit’. With Nick , it doesn’t matter. You can go full-pelt, foot-on-the-accelerator bad guy.”
News of Nick’s demise will pave the way for the introduction of Nick’s eldest son Charlie (musical theatre star Declan Bennett), who leaves Dot shellshocked when he turns up on her doorstep unexpectedly.
But despite Charlie arriving to ostensibly console his grandmother, questions will soon be raised about his intentions. Says Treadwell-Collins: “With Dot feeling increasingly alone in the world, Charlie’s surprise appearance means that she finally has some blood whom she can trust. But should she?”
With both good and bad blood running through the Cotton clan, the big question will be: which thread has Charlie taken?
Declan Bennett, star of Tony award-winning musical Once, recently said of his signing: “I’m delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially at what seems to be an extremely exciting time for the show. June Brown is not only an incredible actress but has also created one of TV’s most iconic characters so to be working alongside her is a dream come true.”
One thing that does look likely is that dearly departed Nick still continuing to cause Dot anguish despite having passed away: “Nick was pure evil but he was still Dot’s son and she has to organise the funeral. “He made a number of enemies in the Square so it’s going to be interesting to see if people are there for her. The funeral scenes are very dramatic and this is a storyline that will go on for some time yet.
“Even in death Nick will still manage to cause his old Ma a number of problems,” a source told the Daily Star Sunday.