Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ooh, I say...

Wonderful news today that the lovely June Brown has received a BAFTA nomination for her part as Dot Cotton in EastEnders.

In real life June is not an East-ender at all. She was born in Suffolk 82 years ago. In her long acting career, she has played on stage Mrs Danvers in a production of Rebecca as well as such classics as An Inspector Calls, The Lion in Winter and A View from the Bridge. On TV, she had minor parts in Dixon Of Dock Green, Angels, Coronation Street, Dr Who, The Bill and The Duchess of Duke Street, among many others. She was also brilliantly cast as Nannie Slagg in Gormenghast!

Inevitably and understandably a bit of a gay icon (she even has a gay club in Cambridge named in honour of Dot, at which she has made several personal appearances), June's portrayal of the uncompromising chain-smoking Dot Cotton has spawned numerous drag impersonations. Yet she made history by being the first and so far only actress to carry an entire episode single handed in the history of British soap, for which she was previously nominated for a BAFTA.

I hope she gets it this time! Here are a few clips from June's screen history as evidence of her skills...

First up that award-nominated Dot Cotton monologue:

Some more of June's best performances:

And of course, here is Alistair McGowan's classic version...

She deserves the accolade of "national treasure, if anyone does!

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