Chain-smoking Eastenders character Dot Branning says she is ready to return to the long running soap after finally running out of fags.
Back in February Branning had told executive producer Lorraine Newman that she was just nipping round the back of the Queen Vic for a ‘a quick draw’ and hadn’t been seen since.
Unbeknownst to script writers, the nicotine stained actress had just taken delivery of 25000 hooky B&H from Square wheeler-dealer Mickey Miller and had gone round the back of the pub to make an early start on them. But the chain-smoking actress lost track of time and before she knew it, it was October and had run out of ciggies. The Bafta nominated character, best remembered for her role as a tin of Old Holborn, took a four year break from the series when the tobacco ban was introduced but was persuaded to come back when the BBC agreed to build a polythene wind-break next to the outside privvy round the back of the pub.
Branning first appeared on the BBC as a chain-smoking Princess from the planet Phlegm in ‘War of the Filter Tips’…an early episode of Dr Who starring William ‘Whiff’ Hartnell. The actress later appeared in an edition of Blue Peter with Valerie Singleton and Christopher Trace, showing kids how to roll their first joint. A handy tobacco pouch made by the actress from an old toilet roll and some sticky backed plastic was buried in the Blue Peter garden along with a box of Swan Vesta, a roach, a Captain Beefhart album and Singleton’s future career.
Eastenders is on BBC1 BBC2 BBC3 and BB4 Monday-Sunday 24hrs a day with catch up on iPlayer.