EastEnders’ Sonia set for unexpected romance as star teases Dot funeral twist

EastEnders Sonia Fowler actress Natalie Cassidy has teased a romance for her character as she spoke about filming Dot's funeral scenes – which she called her "favourite episode ever."

The 39-year-old has played Sonia on and off since 1993 and formed a close bond with June Brown who portrayed her on-screen grandmother Dot Branning for more than three decades.

Sonia announced the news of Dot's passing to the residents of Albert Square just last week and she is now tasked with giving the "Queen of Walford" the send off she deserves.

READ MORE: EastEnders mourns Dot Branning as they pay tribute to Walford's 'grandma'

The actress has spoken ahead of the broadcast of Dot's funeral and let fans in on what they can expect.

"It was one of my most favourite episodes that I've ever done, and that's quite a big statement because I've done a lot," she explained.

The Celebrity Big Brother star added: "The audience has got time to think about Dot, and it is a proper send-off for her. As much as it's upsetting, people will shed a tear, but they'll also smile as it's a celebration of Dot.

"She was the most iconic character of the show, and she's our Queen of Walford, and that's what she deserves!"

Dot's death comes after June's passing aged 95 in April and her funeral was attended by Natalie.

Speaking about the emotion attached to filming the upcoming scenes, Natalie explained: "It was very emotional, I have to say. Obviously, losing June as well makes it very hard. I went to June's funeral and said my goodbyes there, but it was very emotional to film Dot's send-off."

She continued: "When you are talking about someone, with pictures of her around, those things trigger you, and you miss that person.

"So doing the eulogy for me was like doing a real eulogy. Hopefully, that will come across on-screen, and you will see it's all real feelings for Dot and June."

Natalie went on to say that she feels "very honoured" that executive producer Chris Clenshaw allowed her to take a leading role in such a special set of episodes.

"It's lovely to have got my teeth into something that I care about and to see Sonia again at the heart of the show and have some emotional stuff to do. It makes me extremely happy," the soap star chimed.

With Dot's funeral comes the addition of old and new cast members, including Jonny Freeman who will be joining the cast as Dot's great-nephew, Reiss Colwell.

Reiss immediately catches the eye of Sonia and Natalie has teased what fans can expect in the early stages of their relationship.

"Let's just say that this absolute character Reiss comes to the Square, and he and Sonia really hit it off.

"What's really lovely is that Reiss sort of pops into Sonia's life in a time of real emotion and sadness and loss and grief, and out of it comes some humour and some light relief as well, which is very well done."

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