TV star unrecognisable as he joins EastEnders as Dot Branning’s long lost great nephew | The Sun

THERE is a new character about to arrive on Albert Square and you might have seen the famous star taking on the role before.

Jonny Freeman, best known for his roles in the BBC's Silent Witness and Channel 4's Top Boy, is joining the cast of EastEnders as Dot Branning’s great-nephew, Reiss.


Reiss is a distant relative of the EastEnders icon, related to her through his grandfather's brother, Bob Colwell, who was Dot's father.

Despite not being particularly close with the Colwell clan, Reiss turns up on the square after feeling compelled to show his face upon learning of the tragic passing of Dot.

Having wished he was closer to that side of the family, Reiss attends her funeral and despite being filled with sadness it appears there is already a spark flying between him and one of the soap's mainstays – Sonia Fowler, played by Natalie Cassidy.

Speaking of taking on the new role, actor Jonny said: "I am delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially as part of the iconic Dot Branning’s extended family.

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"Everybody has been so welcoming and I'm very lucky to have been working so closely with the lovely Natalie Cassidy who is not only a fantastic actress but a delightful person; she has very kindly helped me navigate my first few weeks."

He went onto add of her character: "I hope I can do Reiss justice. He is kind but socially awkward and seeing how he manages, or doesn't manage, his early exchanges with Sonia and her nearest and dearest has been quite interesting!

"I’m looking forward to seeing how both audiences and the residents of Walford respond to him."

Executive Producer, Chris Clenshaw added: "Reiss Colwell is a somewhat studios, humble and dependable kind of guy and, like his great-aunt Dot, is incredibly kind hearted.

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"Jonny is a wonderful addition to the EastEnders cast; it’s a joy to see him transform into Reiss when he puts on Reiss’ reading glasses and cardigan.

"And we’re all excited for Sonia to have a new squeeze in the Square – it’s been a while!"

Dot's funeral storyline is expected to commence next week when the Walford residents get the heartbreaking news.

A number of former stars have made one-off returns to the show for their characters to pay tribute to Dot.

Dot was played by the late great June Brown who died earlier this year.


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