EASTENDERS bosses are “leaving the door open” for June Brown to return after her shock announcement that she has quit the soap.
June, 93, revealed she had left EastEnders in a podcast obtained by HOAR this week and insisted she had “left for good”.
Soap insiders have claimed they are “baffled” by June’s declaration that Dot Cotton will never return, but EastEnders execs are refusing to close the door behind her.
A spokesman for the BBC One soap said: “We never discuss artists’ contracts, however as far asEastEnders are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has if the story arises and if June wishes to take part.”
June has played chain-smoking Dot for 35 years but spoke out in the Distinct Nostalgia podcast to share her “disappointment” over recent storylines.
Arguably the soaps best-known remaining cast member, her character had not been seen since last month when she left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy, 36, saying she had moved to Ireland.
June said: I dont want a retainer for EastEnders, Ive left. Ive left for good.
Ive sent her off to Ireland where shell stay. Ive left EastEnders. I did make up a limerick. Its a bit dirty.
I went back to do a good story. Alas and alack, when I got back it had gone up in smoke.
I got a small part, a very small part. And that ended up as a big wet fart. Alas and alack, I will never go back.
The veteran actress has been a regular in Albert Square since just after the BBC1 soap began in 1985, apart from a break between 1993 and 1997. She also took six months off in 2012 to pen her autobiography.
Speaking on the podcast to former co-star Rani Singh, who played shop owner Sufia Karim in the late 1980s, June said she had already mourned her character.
She revealed: I was feeling down a few days ago. I thought, Whats the matter? Why do I feel so sad? Its almost as if Ive been bereaved.
June went on: Ive played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasnt me, but spiritually she probably was.
One of her biggest storylines was for the 30th anniversary when she gave villain son Nick (John Altman, 67) a fatal dose of heroin and let him die.
It is understood bosses at the soap, marking its 35th anniversary this week with special episodes, had no idea June was not planning to return.