EastEnders legend Dot Branning returns to the Square after show veteran June Brown took a break for six months.
Family and friends are thrilled to see Mrs B back where she belongs, and soon discover she's not alone – accompanying her is granddaughter Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero, taking over the role from Molly Conlin) who has not been seen in Walford since 2010 and moves to London to start a college course.
So where exactly has Dot been? What happened last time we saw her? And should we be keeping an eye on Dotty, the spawn of nasty Nick Cotton?
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When was Dot Branning last in EastEnders?
Dear old Dot had quite an emotional start to 2019 as old friend Dr Harold Legg was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Holding his hand as he passed away in February, Dot's kindness was rewarded when the former GP left her a fortune in his will. Overwhelmed at the gesture that effectively made her a millionaire on paper, Dot decided to get away from Walford for a while after all the trauma to visit family.
Where has Dot Branning been?
In March 2019 she announced she was going to stay with grandson Charlie Cotton and his family, including great-grandson Matthew, in Ireland. Relatives Sonia Fowler, Bex Fowler and Tiffany Butcher, plus lodger Stuart Highway, were left to look after the house in her absence.
However, at some point Dot has hotfooted it across the water to go to Wales, where Dotty and her mum Sandy live, but the first that viewers – and her family – hear of this is when the matriarch returns to the Square. Why did she suddenly dash over to Wales without telling anyone? Was Dotty in trouble? Is there a secret reason the teen is with her granny?
What does the future hold for Dot Branning and Dotty Cotton?
Keep your eye on Dotty, she's bound to cause a stir. As a schoolgirl she was Walford's answer to Wednesday Addams – pale, sinister and scheming. Don't forget she was introduced as being part of her dastardly dad's scam to con Dot out of her cash. Dotty eventually developed a conscience and turned her back on Nick, but has she inherited his evil streak?
Described as "sharp-witted and with an eye for human weakness… with an interesting and complicated history," Dotty is most certainly back with a bang. She doesn't ingratiate herself with the family too successfully, proving insensitive in the light of Bex Fowler's attempt to take her own life which happens shortly after her arrival. And her reunion with Tiff is fraught with tension, as the girls were sworn enemies when they were younger – Dotty once pushed her into a wheelie bin…
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Dot's tamed many a tearaway in her time, Stuart being the most recent example of how she rehabilitates baddies by showing kindness, but it remains to be seen whether she needs to employ those tactics with Dotty. Is she growing into Walford's next villain, set to make Dot's life a misery as her late father did?
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