The legacy of EastEnders' infamous bad boy Nick Cotton is set to continue as his grown-up daughter Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) returns to Walford on Thursday 3rd October, with the show teasing she may turn out to be a chip off the old block. Could she become the soap's next villain?
Kirsty 'Dotty' Cotton (it appears she's now being referred to by the nickname her dead dad gave her) accompanies grandma Dot Branning (June Brown) back to Albert Square having spent the summer together in Wales. The teen is attending university in London hence using Mrs B's home as a base.
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Viewers have not seen Dotty since 2010 when she was a scheming, spiteful schoolgirl, originally introduced as part of her father's scam to con cash out of his dear old Ma a few years earlier. The kid developed a conscience and turned on Nasty Nick, exposing his plot and moving away with her mother Sandy. Dot left Nick to die from a drugs overdose in 2015.
Now the icon's offspring is back as a confident college student, but can dear old Dot really trust the spawn of her sly son? "Stuart, Bex and Tiffany are thrilled when Dot makes an unannounced return, but she doesn't arrive alone as granddaughter Dotty is with her," reveals an 'Enders insider. "But as Dotty settles back into Walford, will she prove to be more like her father or grandmother?"
What was Dotty like when she was in EastEnders before?
She certainly had a mean streak all those years ago when her menacing style was somewhat reminiscent of Wednesday Addams, complete with pigtails and pale face - fans may recall a rivalry with young Tiff who she tortured and once put in a bin. It feels a wasted opportunity not to develop a villainous edge, considering her heritage, and since Stuart atoned for his sins the soap could do with a new antagonist.
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There's also the sense of a young Janine Butcher, another classic baddie, in how Dotty is described by executive producer Jon Sen: "She is sharp-witted and with an eye for human weakness, Dotty is not afraid to say what she thinks. Dotty returns with a bang!"
Milly Zero, star of CBBC sitcom All at Sea, replaces Molly Conlin in the role. "I am so excited to be playing Dotty alongside June Brown, who I have been watching since I was a young girl," she says. "Dot and Dotty have an interesting relationship to explore with complicated history, so I can't wait to see what the future holds for them."
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