Dot Branning homophobia shocks EastEnders fans as Colin Russell returns

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Viewers saw another side to the beloved character as Lord Michael Cashman returned to the soap.

EastEnders fans were delighted last month, when Lord Michael Cashman revealed that he was returning to EastEnders as Colin Russell – 27 years after leaving the show.

Colin – who was the BBC soap’s first ever gay character – was last seen in Walford in 1989, striking up strong friendships with a number of Albert Square’s residents during his time on the show.


One of his strongest friendships was with fan favourite Dot Cotton – however, their overdue reunion was not as happy as some fans may have hoped for.

During last night’s episode of the show, Dot revealed to Sonia Fowler – who is also a lesbian – that she would be attending a friend’s wedding because it wasn’t “right”.

“I’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding. I can’t go. I want to go but it isn’t right. They shouldn’t be getting married,” Dot said.

Although Sonia encouraged Dot to attend her friend’s big day, the devout Christian said she could not.

“Look, I got an invitation and I thought about it and I decided no and I don’t want to talk about it anymore,” Dot explained.

Fans were initially confused by Dot’s refusal, until Colin arrived at her house – having left his wedding to bring Dot to the celebrations.

“Hello Dot. I had a feeling you might not turn up unless I came for you,” he said.

Despite Dot becoming a confidante of many of the show’s characters in recent years – offering a shoulder to cry on and wise words of advice – this isn’t the first June Brown’s alter ego has been guilty of homophobia.

When she first discovered that Colin was gay and living with a man, Dot started a rumour that he had AIDS, before the pair formed a strong friendship.

She has since formed a series of strong friendships with the soap’s various LGBT characters – leaving viewers shocked by her recent behaviour.

The storyline continues tonight on BBC1 at 8pm.

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