Dot's great nephew finds passion with Sonia as he rocks up in EastEnders

Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) shares a moment with newcomer Reiss Colwell (Jonny Freeman), who is Dot Cotton’s (June Brown) great-nephew, in upcoming EastEnders scenes.

Word of Dot’s death reached the Square this week, and later this month, the BBC One soap will see the residents of Walford gather to say goodbye to the beloved legend.

Sonia struggles to write her eulogy, and takes herself off to the launderette, hoping to find inspiration, while Martin (James Bye) encourages her to speak from the heart.

A number of faces from years gone by, including Lofty Holloway (Tom Watt), Mary ‘The Punk’ Smith (Linda Davidson) and Colin Russell (Michael Cashman) stage a comeback to pay tribute to Dot, while newcomer Reiss shows up, revealing he’s Dot’s great nephew.

Reiss bumps into Sonia, who takes him for a cup of tea at No. 25 and, after an emotional day, the duo share a moment together.

Subsequent scenes see Sonia ask Reiss to stay in Walford a little while longer, as Dot’s will is due to be read.

On joining the cast, Jonny Freeman said: ‘I am delighted to be joining the cast of EastEnders, especially as part of the iconic Dot Branning’s extended family.

‘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. 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.’

One to watch: Tuesday December 13 at 7:30pm on BBC One.

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