EastEnders fans have demanded a fitting farewell for June Brown, following her shock announcement she will leave the soap after playing Dot Cotton for 35 years.
Brown, 93, decided to drop the bombshell news with little fanfare, revealing her decision on a podcast with a former co-star.
Dot had not featured in EastEnders since last month, when she left a voicemail for Sonia Fowler saying she had moved to Ireland.
It is understood her bosses at the BBC had no idea she never intended to return.
An EastEnders spokesman said the door remained open for a comeback, appearing to leave the decision in Brown’s hands.
On Twitter, fans urged the BBC to do all it could to lure her back for a final episode.
A viewer said “one of the longest characters in soap history has to have a major exit storyline,” adding “that’s just how it’s always been and she deserves it”.
One wrote Dot “deserves a proper exit storyline,” adding Brown “needs to be lured back so that dot can have an iconic exit like she deserves”.
Another said: “June Brown deserved a better exit.”
One viewer described Dot’s final scene as “so rushed and out of the blue,” lamenting that fans did not get a “proper goodbye scene”.
“An East End legend gone, just like that,” they added.
Another fan said the news had left them in “mourning” while one said Brown’s final appearance was “rubbish”.
There was also a clamouring for a Dot death scene.
“Bump Dot off!” a fan said. “Give us the Emotional/Iconic death scenes we deserve.”
Another tweeted Dot should have been killed off for EastEnders’s 35th anniversary this week.
Brown first played Dot, a chain-smoking, devout Christian and hypochondriac, in 1985.
She was one of EastEnders’s best-known characters.