EastEnders legend June Brown has signed up for her first role since she waved goodbye to Albert Square.
The 93-year-old – who found fame playing Walford stalwart Dot Cotton – is to star in a new audio drama set against the backdrop of the COVID crisis.
Entitled Missing You, the production sees Brown as Margey, the mother who is separated from her son with Down's syndrome because of the pandemic.
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The enforced separation leads both Margey and her son William to reflect on their shared past.
Read more here about #junebrown new project. Listen to teaser now & hear the drama #BoxingDay on DistinctNostalgia. ‘Missing You’ is about an elderly mum with a son who has Down’s syndrome. Written by @R_Vergette co-starring the brilliant @samalanbarnard https://t.co/vUBiy9sweu pic.twitter.com/KFkt0q9aam
— DistinctNostalgia (@DistinctbyMIM) December 24, 2020
Writer Richard Vergette said in a press release: “When writing the role of Margey I had the voice of June Brown in my head and so asked the producer Ashley Byrne, ‘Can we find a June Brown type of actress?’
“‘How about June Brown?’ he replied.
“I still can’t quite believe that a living legend is playing in a piece I’ve written.”
William is played by actor Sam Barnard, who said he was thrilled to be working with the soap star.
“June is such a legend and a hero of mine since I was little,” he said. “When I was asked to play this role I said, ‘OOH I SAY’ and did a little dance of joy!”
Brown announced earlier this year that she had left EastEnders, having appeared in the long-running BBC show from 1985 to 1993 and a 23- year long second stint from 1997 up until 2020.
Speaking on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast to former co-star Rani Singh, she said: “I don’t want a retainer for EastEnders, I’ve left. I’ve left for good.
“I’ve sent her off to Ireland and that’s where she’ll stay.”
Watch: June Brown quits EastEnders after 35 years as Dot