EASTENDERS star Natalie Cassidy has opened up on just how close she and the late June Brown, who played Dot Cotton, really were.
Natalie plays Dot's granddaughter Sonia Jackson on the hit BBC soap opera.
June was one of Albert Square's most recognisable faces having played launderette worker Dot since 1985.
Actress Natalie has since confirmed that the bond that Sonia has on-screen with Dot, was reciprocated away from the show with the real-life stars sharing a close bond.
The star admitted that she and June even enjoyed taking holidays together.
Natalie told The Sun: "We had so much fun, we went on holidays together, she used to stay at my flat.
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"We would get a curry and drink a bottle of wine and learn our lines."
She admitted that growing up as a teenager on the show was made comforting by having the presence of older stars such as June around her.
Speaking of her earliest memories of working with June on the show, the actress revealed: "When I was 14/15, we would have lunch in the canteen next door and we would chat away. I was a young teenager but I loved old company. I had older parents as well, I am an older soul.
"So rather than having lunch with the youngsters I was working with I would always spend my time with June or Barbara [Windsor] or Pam [St Clement]."
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She continued: "June I spent many hours with in her dressing room, talking about her life.
"She taught me so much, mainly how to listen. It is biggest secret in acting. And she used to say every sentence is a song, never be flat. It’s like a tune. I will always keep that with me."
Natalie's character Sonia will be a central figure to the upcoming funeral episodes which will provide a fitting send off to Dot.
She confirmed it was an honour to have been chosen to play such big and important role in the historic episode.
June last appeared on screens in January 2020 when Dot went to live in Ireland.
The actress passed away earlier this year at her home in Surrey.
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