EastEnders actor John Altman, who played her on-screen son Nick in the BBC soap, appeared on Good Morning Britain as he spoke about his relationship with the icon and liked her to his ‘second mum’
EastEnders actor John Altman has opened up about his final meeting with June Brown a month ago.
The legendary soap actress, who played Dot Cotton for 35 years, sadly died at the weekend at her Surrey home aged 95.
John, who played her on-screen son Nick in the BBC soap, appeared on Good Morning Britain as he spoke about his relationship with the icon.
Describing his time sharing the screen with June, John said that they were “treasured moments in [his] career” and that she was “lovely to work with”.
“She guided me,” he said. “We spent an hour having a coffee and a cigarette going through the lines in the dressing room.”
Asked by GMB presenters Kate Garraway and Richard Madeley about when he last saw her, he said: “I saw her a month ago – she was a bit tired. You could see she claim right down.”
However, he promoted her family for “rallying right around her”, which allowed her to spend her last days in her Surrey home.
Recalling their days of going through the script together, he said: “June was a real stickler for the script being right.”
Speaking about their last scene together, he said: “The last scene we did together was a very emotional affair and the floor manager said, ‘I swore I’d never shed a tear on the floor’, hardened production people but she said, ‘I did today’, after 35 years together, June and I, on and off.”
Quizzed on how June differed from her character Dot, John said: “Good question. I would say June Brown was in a higher class and better spoken. Dressed well, not dowdy at all. More upper middle class than working class.”
He also said that June loved being famous and “embraced it” as she was so sociable and had a good heart as “she couldn’t say no to charity requests”.
“I used to tell her off – ‘June, you can’t do any more charities’,” he said. “She said, ‘Oh dear, I have to’. She supported the donkeys, among many others, Children with Cancer, The Taverners – she just couldn’t say no.
“We’d walk to the canteen at the BBC and it would always take about half an hour because she’d stop along the way chatting to people. She was so kind. She used to say healing prayers, actually. She was quite a spiritual person – she definitely believed in a higher power, something more than we know, perhaps. We were a good team.”
“Amazing memories. She’s so kind. She used to say healing prayers,” he continued.
Asked what he would miss most about her, he said: “She was a dear friend. Someone I could confide in, and probably my second mother, really. My real mother said she looked more like my mother than she did!
“She used to tell me off sometimes. When I came off cigarettes I was so grumpy and she said, ‘Oh, maybe you should go back on them!'”
*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/eastenders-june-browns-screen-son-26636996 EastEnders' June Brown's on-screen son says she was 'tired' when they met for final time