8 times June Brown was an icon

Virgin Radio

5 Apr 2022, 11:11

June Brown

Credit: Getty

You would struggle to find someone in British TV history more iconic than June Brown. 

Yesterday (4 April), we received the devastating news that the actress, best known for playing the legendary Dot Cotton on EastEnders, had passed away. 

She was a staple of British television, known for her wicked sense of humour and zest for life. 

With a television career spanning over 50 years, it’s fair to say June had some pretty iconic moments both as Dot Cotton but also as herself. 

To celebrate the life and legacy of the incredible June Brown, here are some eight times she solidified her icon status. 

8. Arriving on The Paul O'Grady Show with her Xmas shopping 

Whenever June appeared on a talk show, you just knew it was going to be an entertaining interview. 

When she joined The Paul O’Grady Show in 2006, carrying all her Christmas shopping, it was no exception. 

She had the crowd laughing from start to finish as she settled down on the sofa on the chat show like it was her own living room and gave Paul a signed autograph of her face as a prezzie. 

7. #FreeDot

If you were ever in doubt at the impact June’s EastEnders character Dot Cotton had on viewers, then this should clear it up for you. 

In 2015’s Who Killed Lucy episode, Dot was whisked away in a police car after confessing to the murder of her son Nick- and it produced a social media storm. 

#FreeDot became a huge campaign as viewers took to Twitter to call for the release of their beloved character.

6. June's candid take on sex

June was not one to mince her words, and that is exactly the energy she gave when appearing on Loose Women in 2019.

When the conversation turned to more saucy matters, June told the panel just what she thought of it all.

"I'm sick and tired of sex," she said, rolling her eyes and sipping on her tea like an absolute queen.

5. Dot dabbles in *herbal* remedies

In an episode of EastEnders in the 1990s, Dot accidentally got herself in a bit of a pickle after buying some 'special' tea from a woman in Walford Square.

She had been mixing the herbs into her tea, not realising that she was actually drinking cannabis, and ended up getting quite stoned- which is kind of hilarious for such a god-fearing woman.

4. Turning down an invitation to go clubbing with Lady Gaga

If anyone else turned down the chance to go clubbing with a star like Lady Gaga, you would be shocked.

June revealed in an interview with Loose Women in 2019 that she had been invited to go for a boogie with the Poker Face singer after they struck up an unlikely friendship when they both appeared on The Graham Norton Show (more on this below).

Truly iconic behaviour.

3. Dot's run-in with technology

Dot Cotton was never one for computers, and this particular scene in an episode of EastEnders in 2007 provided some pretty hilarious television.

When she attempts to instant message someone on Bradley's computer, Dot gets a shock when she accidentally turns on the webcam.

Credit: BBC

2. June's incredible monologue about John Bardon/Jim Branning

In 2008, June made television history when she performed an emotional 28-minute monologue that lasted an entire episode of EastEnders.

It was the first time a soap opera featured just one character, and June went on to be nominated for a BAFTA as a result.

The monologue was a reflection on Dot's history with her onscreen husband Jim Branning as he recovers in hospital from a stroke. It was made even more emotional as John Bardon (who played Jim) was also in hospital after having a stroke at that time.

1. June makes friends with Lady Gaga

Taking the top spot as June's most iconic moment is, of course, her appearance on The Graham Norton Show and her unlikely friendship with Lady Gaga in 2013.

First of all, June looked fabulous in her fur coat, black dress and cherry red tights (complete with a cigarette, obviously).

Gaga admitted to June that she was a fan of her and that she loved her outfit, and the pair sipped wine and chatted like old friends throughout the evening.

It was a magical moment only possible when two legendary women come together.