When did Dot kill ‘Nasty’ Nick in EastEnders, and how did she do it?

Dotty just found out a very dark family secret

eastenders dot and nick

That perennially smug expression on Dotty Cotton’s face was wiped off when Bex Fowler revealed a shocking secret from her family’s past – her grandma Dot Branning murdered Dotty’s dad Nick Cotton and served time in prison for it.


Bex delivered the bombshell on Thursday 23rd January’s EastEnders to shut down surly teen Dotty’s takedown of Sonia Fowler, who admitted to stealing Dot’s cash to get ex-husband Martin Fowler out of a scrape.

Fed up of her mum’s character assassination, and a few drinks down, Bex blurted out the truth about the demise of Dotty’s dastardly dad, who she had been told had passed away in his sleep from ‘natural causes’. Not exactly…

eastenders dotty cotton

When did Nick Cotton die?

Legendary EastEnders bad lad Nasty Nick gave his God-fearing ‘Ma’ nothing but trouble for his entire life, showing up every few years to rip her off, try and do her in, and generally test her patience.

In 2014, Dot’s long-lost grandson Charlie Cotton arrived in Albert Square and told her Nick was dead, but it was yet another scam and he showed up seven months later alive and well. Loyal Dot and Charlie harboured Nick, on the run from a robbery, but Charlie’s fiancee Ronnie Mitchell bribed him to get lost and leave his vulnerable mother alone.

Nick tampered with the brakes on Ronnie’s car which she crashed on her and Charlie’s wedding day, putting her in a coma. Nick and Charlie’s mum Yvonne conspired to frame Phil Mitchell for the accident, and when Charlie learnt what his poisonous parents are planning he ordered them to leave.

But Dot still couldn’t turn her back on her no-good son, who was also suffering from drug withdrawal, and hid him in the abandoned neighbouring house. Persuaded into scoring him heroin, Dot urged Nick to come clean to the police about fitting up Phil but he refused, totally remorseless.

Having overdosed on the drugs supplied by his mother, Nick slipped into unconsciousness and as Dot cradled her fading son he admitted to having killed Reg Cox 30 years earlier. Realising there was no hope for her villainous offspring, Dot let him die in her arms in the same spot where Reg himself was found dead in EastEnders’ very first episode back in 1985.

Making a virtue of the nostalgia angle, Nick’s corpse was discovered by Stacey, Martin and Kush in the 30th anniversary live episode, with a further nod thrown in as Stacey had the same line of dialogue spoken by Den Watts in the iconic opening scene three decades earlier: “Stinks in ‘ere…”

Despite Charlie plotting to hide his father’s corpse to protect his grandmother, Dot confessed to the police and she served four months for manslaughter.

All of which is news to Dotty – how will Bex’s revelation affect her? And with Dot in Ireland for an extended holiday with Charlie and his family, how can her granddaughter get closure and hear Mrs B’s side of the story?


Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers