There are emotional scenes on the way in EastEnders as iconic character Dot Branning (played by June Brown) is laid to rest.


One person it will hit especially hard is Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy), perhaps the closest person to Dot in the entire soap.

Speaking to press including, Cassidy opened up on the heartbreaking scenes and how Sonia reacts to it all.

"It's a massive shock to her," Cassidy explained. "Dot hasn't been in Walford for a while, but she's one of those constants in everyone's lives and Sonia always thought she'd been there. That's the shock of it. Sonia also knew she had to tell some very dear people to Dot that live on the Square, like Sharon and Patrick.

"These people were very close to Dot and had known Dot longer than Sonia. So, when she steps into The Vic to tell everybody the news, she's being strong for everyone else at first and getting on with it. But Sonia then has a very quiet moment at the end of the day when she breaks down."

One thing in particular she finds hard is writing Dot's eulogy, explaining: "Firstly, she's not a speechmaker. Secondly, she knows the whole of the Square loves Dot, so she wants to do the best she can. Sonia wants to make sure she says the right things and includes everybody, and it's a very, very difficult job to do because she wants Dot's funeral to be the best and to do her proud."

In terms of the episode itself, Cassidy described it as one of her "most favourite episodes" ever.

"I feel like the audience is going to feel like they are there and part of it. It's a slow-moving, gentle episode that's got time to breathe. The audience has got time to think about Dot, and it is a proper send-off for her.

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"The writing is immaculate, and everybody in it is great. It will be a real treat for people as it's celebrating Dot and her life. As much as it's upsetting, people will shed a tear, but they'll also smile as it's a celebration of Dot. She was the most iconic character of the show, and she's our Queen of Walford, and that's what she deserves!"

She continued: "It was very emotional, I have to say. Obviously, losing June as well makes it very hard. I went to June's funeral and said my goodbyes there, but it was very emotional to film Dot's send-off. When you are talking about someone, with pictures of her around, those things trigger you, and you miss that person. So doing the eulogy for me was like doing a real eulogy. Hopefully, that will come across on-screen, and you will see it's all real feelings for Dot and June."

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