In February 2017, June Brown, the actress who plays Eastenders Dot Cotton, turned 90 years old. Brown has been in the soap from the beginning in 1985 and Dot Cotton is still a major character in the programme today. Born in Suffolk and one of five children, she was educated at St John’s Church of England school and classically trained at The Old Vic Theatre School. She has had a long and varied television career with roles in Coronation Street, comedy drama Minder, police drama The Bill and scifi series Survivors. In January 2008 she became the first actress to carry an entire episode single –handed, in her Eastenders role. Brown is only the second performer to receive a BAFTA for work in a soap opera and in 2008 was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours.