June Brown’s secret to 95 years of long life was ‘doing exactly as you damn well please’

EastEnders’ Dot Cotton star June Brown has died at the age of 95, the BBC announced earlier today.

Despite the much-loved star sadly passing in her mid-nineties, she did live a long and full life – which she put down to doing “what you damn well please”.

In 2019 The Guardian reported that June said: “I’m going to die of something fairly soon, so why not enjoy myself.”

The paper also revealed that she didn’t shy from eating sweets or drinking wine, saying: “[I] love red wine and also dark chocolate, even though I’m allergic to it and it makes me sneeze.

“And the Guinness helps me keep a bit of weight on. So I don’t need to be careful about what I eat or drink.”

It was also reported that she spoke about her 20-a-day smoking habit when she said: “What’s the point of counting how many cigarettes I smoke a day?

“I’ve been on them for over 70 years.”

Back in 2020 John Altman, who played the role of Dot Cotton’s son Nick, spoke about the much-loved actress and her one habit she couldn’t seem to kick.

June Brown
June Brown has died at the age of 95

She is best-known for her portrayal of Dot Cotton in EastEnders
She is best-known for her portrayal of Dot Cotton in EastEnders

Spending around 70 years of her life smoking 20 cigarettes a day, June did try to give up the fags in 2019 but didn’t manage to.

In 2020 she was smoking half a pack of fags a day according to the Nasty Nick actor.

Speaking to the paper her revealed that at the time she was still smoking.

Explaining: “The doctors have told her not to stop now. She loves her ciggies. She smokes at least ten a day.”

June did try out e-cigarettes, but apparently thought they were too heavy to hold.

In February 2020 June departed from Albert Square and quit EastEnders.

Cotton Family EastEnders
June’s on-screen son has previously spoken out about her smoking habbit

Her departure came about because she didn’t like her storylines and couldn’t read her script properly due to eyesight issues.

When John spoke to The Sun about June he explained how her eyesight wasn’t great at the time, but she was “full of beans” and often read on her Kindle.

Earlier today EastEnders bosses paid a heartbreaking tribute to June on Twitter : “We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved June Brown, OBE, MBE sadly passed away last night,” they revealed in the post.

“There are not enough words to describe how much June was loved and adored by everyone at EastEnders, her loving warmth, wit and great humour will never be forgotten…

Dot June Brown Cotton
Dot Cotton could often be seen smoking on the soap opera, as could June Brown in real life

“June created one of the most iconic characters in Dot Cotton, not just in soap but in British television, and having appeared in 2884 episodes, June’s remarkable performances created some of EastEnders finest moments…”

They concluded: “We send all our love and deepest sympathies to June’s family and friends.

“A very bright light has gone out at EastEnders today – we shall all be raising a sweet sherry in June’s memory.

“Rest in peace, our dearest June. You will never be forgotten.”

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