EastEnders Sonia star Natalie Cassidy heartbroken filming Dot Cottons funeral

EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy has opened up about the difficulties of filming Dot Cotton's funeral scenes, following actress June Brown's death earlier this year.

June died in April at the age of 95 years old, with the BBC soap set to pay tribute to her legacy as Dot Cotton by airing a special extended edition of the programme.

The episode will see current Albert Square residents and old friends including Colin Russell (Lord Michael Cashman CBE), Barry Clark (Gary Hailes) George 'Lofty' Holloway (Tom Watt), Mary ‘'the punk' Smith (Linda Davidson), Disa O’Brien (Jan Graveson) and Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) come together to say goodbye at Dot's funeral.

READ MORE: EastEnders icon June Brown's kids to star in funeral episode as Dot is laid to rest

Speaking about filming the funeral scenes, Sonia Jackson star Natalie Cassidy admitted to The Sun that "It is upsetting to me."

Paying tribute to the late EastEnders icon, Natalie continued: "I was very, very close to June. She taught me a lot."

It is reported that Sonia will be central to the heartbreaking scenes, saying that it was "not only an honour, it is a big responsibility" to be leading the episodes.

The actress also revealed that she believes June would have approved of the funeral episodes, saying: "I think she’d be thrilled by it and bowled over. She was such a modest lady at times and she never wanted a fuss."

She added: "It is a moment in television history. And I think everyone should have a small glass of sherry and sit down. This is an occasion."

Speaking ahead of the funeral scenes, which are due to air this week, Lauren Branning star Jacqueline Jossa also said in a statement: "Coming back to EastEnders for Dot's funeral was a no-brainer, and it was a real honour to be invited back."

Jacqueline continued: "I can tell the viewers now that Dot gets the beautiful send-off that she deserves.

"June was the light and joy of EastEnders. I had so much fun working with her, the incredible stories and how infectious & witty she was. June is a legend and I miss her very much."

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