Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) has been a rock to Sharon Watts (Letitia Dean) as she grieves for son Dennis Rickman, who drowned in EastEnders‘ 35th anniversary boat party disaster, but remains oblivious to the fact her best mate is actually responsible for the shocking death.
Devious Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) has evidence Councillor Beale trapped the tragic teen in a cabin to punish him for intimidating son Bobby Beale, meaning Denny didn’t stand a chance when the boat started to sink despite Ian’s last-minute rescue attempt.
Now Dotty is blackmailing Mr Beale and has demanded ownership of the Arches garage in return for her silence, although the spawn of nasty Nick Cotton’s motives are more moral than you might think according to Zero…
“Blackmailing Ian is not about Dotty having power or control, she genuinely believes Sharon deserves to know the truth,” the star tells RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview. “She only asked for the Arches as Ian offered her whatever she wanted, and it gives her financial security. It’s basically a way to taunt Ian.
“It’s not just what Ian did to Dennis, it’s the fact he then continues to be so close to Sharon when he’s being a total hypocrite – that kills Dotty, she hates liars. Ian’s actions fuel her blackmail even more. She’s actually the one in the right.”
Next week Dotty turns up the heat on her guilt-ridden victim, but it appears he has the upper hand when he reveals he’s managed to destroy the phone with the incriminating recording. Is Dotty finally beaten?
“She definitely feels deflated,” continues Zero, who took over the role of Dot Branning’s granddaughter in 2019. “Ian is really respected within the community whereas she’s just this young girl with her dad’s bad reputation hanging over her. Everyone assumes the worst of Dotty and she almost gives up as she feels she has no power compared to Ian.”
However, a chat with her new mate Vinny Panesar inspires her to keep going, and by Tuesday 7th April the menacing mechanic is goading Ian once more – but this time she really means business. Does Dotty really have it in her to blab to Sharon and tear the lifelong friends apart?
“She enjoys having power over Ian, and it’s fun in those scenes with Adam to play that! If she tells Sharon now then that’s it, it’s all over. While Dotty is definitely capable of doing it and that is her intent, she wants Ian to suffer first and feel the burn.
“Maybe deep down she hopes Ian will come clean to Sharon himself, that would be the ideal outcome. I think in her own little way, Dotty is pushing Ian towards doing the right thing.”