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Dotty Cotton

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Dotty Cotton
Dotty Cotton.jpg
Molly Conlin as Dotty Cotton (2008)
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Molly Conlin
Duration 2008–2010
First appearance Episode 3708
26 December 2008 (2008-12-26)
Last appearance Episode 3954
23 February 2010 (2010-02-23)
Introduced by Diederick Santer
Classification Former; recurring

Kirsty “Dotty” Cotton is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Molly Conlin. She was introduced on 26 December 2008 as the daughter of established character Nick Cotton (John Altman). Dotty was used as Nick's partner in crime, as the duo planned to kill her grandmother Dot (June Brown) and inherit the money from her will. She and Dot subsequently became friends after Nick's failed murder attempt, due to Dotty sabotaging their murder plan at the last minute. In her final storyline, airing on 23 February 2010, she left with her mother Sandy (Caroline Pegg), whom she believed dead.

Critics disliked Dotty, with her accent being criticised by Jane Simon from The Daily Mirror.[1] Critics from The Daily Mirror and The Guardian were glad to see her leave.[2][3] However, executive producer Diederick Santer praised Conlin for her portrayal of Dotty,[4] whilst both Brown and Altman opined that the storyline was one of their highlights.[5][6] The Sun described her as "one of the youngest, most wicked female soap villains".[7]



Dotty, whose real name is Kirsty,[8] was conceived in a one-night stand between Nick Cotton (John Altman) and an alcoholic woman named Sandy (Caroline Pegg). While serving time in prison,[9] Nick received a letter from Sandy telling him that she had given birth to their daughter.[10] Upon his early release in April 2008, Nick took custody of Dotty, telling her that Sandy had died in a car crash.[10]


Dotty arrives in Walford on Christmas Day with Nick, to see her estranged grandmother Dot (June Brown).[11] Nick introduces Dot to Dotty and they quickly bond.[11] Nick lies to Dot that he had promised to send money to Sandy on the condition that she named their daughter Dorothy after her grandmother, so that Dot will trust him and bond with his daughter; Dot does not know Dotty's real name.[11] After spending the night, Dotty begs Dot to let them stay longer.[12] Dot soon discovers that Nick is unemployed and he and Dotty have been living rough.[12] Nick says he will either put Dotty into care or sell her to Dot.[13] After serious consideration, she buys Dotty to get her away from Nick. Dotty learns that Dot has left all her money to Dotty in her will, and tells Nick.[13] They plan to kill Dot to inherit the money,[13] and trick her into thinking she is suffering from dementia.[8] Eventually, Dotty is told by Nick to give Dot an overdose of her medication,[8] but, Dotty has had a change of heart and gives the pills to Nick in his beer.[14] When Nick learns of Dotty's double-crossing, he drags her to the café and holds everyone inside hostage.[8][15] Dotty escapes along with most of the others, but the café explodes, and in the commotion, Nick escapes.[16] Dot suspects Dotty may be just as evil as Nick, so plants some tablets on the kitchen table whilst Dotty has her back turned.[17] Dot leaves the room and spies on Dotty, who ignores the tablets.[17]

Dot holds a birthday party for Dotty, inviting Tiffany (Maisie Smith) and Liam Butcher (James Forde), but they do not want to attend.[18] The next day, Tiffany tells Dotty she is not invited to her birthday party.[18] Dotty tells Dot that Tiffany is not having a party and asks if they can invite her round.[18] When they ask Tiffany's mother Bianca (Patsy Palmer), Bianca invites them to Tiffany's party.[18] The next day, Tiffany and Dotty lie so they do not have to go to school.[19] Dotty takes Tiffany's bridesmaid's dress and MP3 player, after Tiffany does not allow her to try the dress on, and runs away with them, throwing the MP3 player into a bin.[19] Dotty pushes Tiffany into the bin as she tries to retrieve it.[19] Dotty then runs away to avoid getting in trouble, and when Tiffany is found,[19] Bianca visits Dot, who is unsure about Bianca's claims.[20] Dotty tells Dot she knows nothing about the dress but Dot then finds it in Dotty's school bag.[20] Dot returns the dress to Bianca without Dotty's knowledge.[21] The next day, Dotty is left alone with Dot's husband Jim (John Bardon) who is recovering from a stroke.[22] She pours water on him to make it seem he has wet himself, but Dot catches her.[22] Dotty says she hates them both and wishes that Nick had killed Dot.[22] Dot smacks Dotty across the legs and Dotty manipulates her into letting her stay off school.[23] After Dotty calls the police, Dot is arrested for assault but is released without charge and Dotty apologises.[24]

Dot receives a visit from Dotty's mother Sandy.[25] Dot assumes she is from Social Services, but Sandy says she is looking for her daughter Kirsty.[25] Dot says she knows nobody of that name, but when she sees a photo she realises that it is Dotty.[25] Dot hides Sandy's visit from Dotty, but later talks to Sandy about her daughter and her past.[26] She also asks Dotty about the friends and family she used to have, but Dotty says Dot is the only family she needs.[10] However, she soon admits that she misses her mother, and Dot reveals that she is alive and Nick had lied to her.[10] Dotty says she wants to see her mother, so Dot calls her.[10] When Sandy arrives, Dotty is delighted and Dot tells Dotty she should go with Sandy.[10] They say an emotional goodbye, and Dot says she can visit at any time.[10] In May 2012, Dot and her sister Rose (Polly Perkins) go to live with Dotty and Sandy. In January 2013, it is revealed that Dotty and Sandy are in Florida.[27] In March 2014, Dot reveals Dotty and Sandy cannot attend Nick's funeral, because Dotty has a cold. Dot visits Dotty and Sandy at their new home in Swansea in October 2017.

Creation and development[edit]

Casting, introduction and development[edit]

Dotty and partner in crime Nick, planned to kill Dot (June Brown, pictured).

On 2 October 2008 it was reported that Nick Cotton, played by John Altman would return to EastEnders in Christmas 2008.[28] After spending time in Walsall, Nick would return with an eight-year-old daughter, Dotty.[29] The part of Dotty was cast to Molly Conlin, speaking of her casting, Conlin said, "I'm really excited about it because I have always wanted to be in EastEnders."[30] Conlin was considered too old for the part of Tiffany Dean which she a previously auditioned for but she succeeded in impressing the producers, who offered her the role of Dotty instead.[30] The part of Tiffany went to Maisie Smith.[31] Dotty was originally eleven years old, but on Conlin's casting, they changed her age to seven.[30] Introduced as a guest character by Santer[32] she made her first appearance on 25 December 2008.[11]

Starting to appear more frequently, Dotty became a recurring character. Santer told Digital Spy in May 2009 that Dotty's storyline would go "to a very, very dark place!"[4] He questioned whether the character was born bad or if her father had made her that way, and if she could be more dangerous than Nick.[4] As the storyline between Dot, Dotty and Nick progressed, Nick's true agenda was revealed when he blackmailed his mother into giving him money for custody of Dotty. A BBC source told The Sun, "[Dot's] horrified when Nick tells her Dotty is for sale. He shows no emotion and his evil grin sends shivers down her spine. She always knew Nick would sell his soul for the price of some pick ’n mix but she had no idea he’d sell his own daughter."[33] In a further plot twist, it was revealed to the audience in 2009, that Dotty was colluding with her father all along.[34] The plot climaxed in June 2009 and marked Altman's departure from the show for the fourth time.[35] Dotty later left on 23 February 2010.[10]


Dotty is a seven-year-old child who has pigtails.[36] The EastEnders website describes her as "butter wouldn't melt when it comes to this cockney sparrow, but underneath she's a devil in disguise", as well as conniving, backstabbing and cold-hearted.[37] Altman described Dotty as "a chip off the old block",[38][39] as did Nancy Banks-Smith from The Guardian[40] though the Daily Record described Dotty as "a chip off her grandma's block".[41] Charlie Clements, who played Bradley Branning, said that Dotty, being Nick's daughter, was "bound to be a bit iffy."[42] He also called her "evil",[42] as did several critics.[43] Simon called Dotty "[the] apple that hasn't fallen far from the tree."[44] On Holy Soap, Dotty is called a "demon child" and "sweetness and light" on the surface, "but underneath lurks a devil!".[45] Nancy Banks-Smith from The Guardian described Dotty as "enigmatic",[40] while Kris Green from Digital Spy compared Dotty's image to that of Damien Thorn from The Omen and Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist.[46] The Sun said "Dotty is one of the youngest, most wicked female soap villains".[7]


Jane Simon from the Daily Mirror criticised Dotty's accent and the storyline surrounding poisoning Dot.[1] Stuart Heritage from The Guardian said that Dotty gave him "the willies". He said, "Technically Dotty has already left EastEnders, but it was an open-ended goodbye and she's free to return whenever she likes. This must not happen, simply because she gives me the willies more than anything else I've ever seen",[2] Simon similarly opined saying that she was glad to see Dotty leave.[3] Brown opined that Dot and Nick's storyline with Dotty was one of her highlights of the series,[5] as did Altman.[6] Santer praised Conlin for her portrayal of Dotty saying, "I love that little girl because she's having to play all these layers. Normally, what kids have to do of that age is say lines and be cute. She, though, has to play layers of deception. She has to play a character who's acting."[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Simon, Jane (2 June 2009). "We Love Soaps – Emmerdale and Eastenders". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Heritage, Staurt (19 April 2010). "EastEnders: six characters to get the chop. But are they the right ones?". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Simon, Jane (16 February 2010). "We love soaps". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Green, Kris (1 May 2009). "Exclusive: 'Enders boss hints at character plots". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Kilkelly, Daniel (18 March 2011). "Exclusive: June Brown (Dot Branning, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Lee-Porter, Adam (31 May 2009). "EastEnders star John Altman, aka Nasty Nick Cotton, on how June Brown's like a mum to him". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Robertson, Colin. "What to watch on TV tonight". The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 16 June 2011. [dead link]
  8. ^ a b c d Green, Kris (27 April 2009). "Exclusive: Nasty Nick loses plot in 'Enders blaze". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Green, Kris (27 April 2009). "John Altman (Nick Cotton, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Green, Kris (23 February 2010). "Zainab gives birth to a baby boy". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d Green, Kris (25 December 2008). "Roxy is devastated to find baby Amy missing". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Clive Arnold (director), Richard Davidson (writer) (29 December 2008). "Episode dated 29/12/2008". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  13. ^ a b c Rupert Such (director), Richard Zajdlic (writer) (23 January 2009). "Episode dated 23/01/2009". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  14. ^ Tim Mercier (director) (2 June 2009). "Episode dated 02/06/2009". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  15. ^ "Is it the end of Nasty Nick? Walford residents flee Ian's cafe after it bursts into flames after hostage drama". Daily Mail. London: Associated Newspapers. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 19 November 2011. 
  16. ^ Lee, Cara. "Nick hot'un". The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Tim Mercier (director) (5 June 2009). "Episode dated 05/06/2009". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  18. ^ a b c d Lee Salisbury (director), Spenser Frearson (writer) (2 February 2010). "Episode dated 02/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  19. ^ a b c d Audrey Cooke (director), Christopher Reason (writer) (4 February 2010). "Episode dated 04/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  20. ^ a b Lee Salisbury (director), Christopher Reason (writer) (5 February 2010). "Episode dated 05/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  21. ^ Richard Platt (director), Carey Andrews (writer) (8 February 2010). "Episode dated 08/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  22. ^ a b c Richard Platt (director), Rob Williams (writer) (9 February 2010). "Episode dated 09/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  23. ^ Richard Platt (director), Rachel Flowerday (writer) (11 February 2010). "Episode dated 11/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  24. ^ Richard Platt (director), Rachel Flowerday (writer) (12 February 2010). "Episode dated 12/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  25. ^ a b c Clive Arnold (director), Matthew Evans (writer) (16 February 2010). "Episode dated 16/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  26. ^ Rebecca Gatward (director), Gillian Richmond(writer) (22 February 2010). "Episode dated 22/02/2010". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One. 
  27. ^ Director: Tim Mercier; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Matt Evans (11 January 2012). "Dorothy Branning: The Next Chapter". EastEnders. BBC. BBC Red Button. 
  28. ^ Green, Kris (2 October 2008). "Nick Cotton returns to EastEnders". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  29. ^ Richard Mears (director, producer), Mark Cossey (executive producer) (2008-12-30). "EastEnders Revealed: Nick Cotton Returns". EastEnders Revealed. Episode 55. BBC. BBC1. 
  30. ^ a b c "Halstead: Molly, 7, lands a role in TV's East Enders". Daily Gazette. 21 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  31. ^ Jefferies, Mark (18 March 2008). "Bianca Jackson and her kids move back to EastEnders". The Mirror. London: Trinity Mirror. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  32. ^ Wardrop, Murray (2 December 2008). "Eastenders villain 'Nasty Nick' returns to Albert Square". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  33. ^ Robertson, Colin (9 January 2009). "Sick Nick". The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  34. ^ "Eastenders: The Week Ahead: Nasty Nick's plan to kill Dot Cotton". Sunday Mercury. Trinity Mirror. 17 January 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2012. 
  35. ^ Lee, Cara (25 May 2009). "Nick hot'un". The Sun. London: News International. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  36. ^ Laws, Roz (17 January 2009). "Eastenders: The Week Ahead: Nasty Nick's plan to kill Dot Cotton". Sunday Mercury. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  37. ^ "Dotty Cotton played by Molly Conlin". EastEnders. BBC Online. 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  38. ^ "Dot, meet Dotty: First pictures of Nick Cotton's daughter as he returns to EastEnders". Daily Mail. London: Associated Newspapers Ltd. 3 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  39. ^ Wallis, Sara (3 December 2008). "Nick's just dotty for daughter". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  40. ^ a b Banks-Smith, Nancy (5 June 2009). "Dot Cotton had had a rather hard day. Then her son Nick tried to kill her". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  41. ^ "Soap stories". Daily Record. Glasgow, Scotland: Trinity Mirror. 30 May 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  42. ^ a b Green, Kris (26 May 2009). "Charlie Clements (Bradley Branning, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  43. ^ These critics include:
  44. ^ Simon, Jane (23 January 2009). "We Love Soaps". The Mirror. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  45. ^ "Dotty Cotton". Holy Soap. Channel 5. Archived from the original on 19 January 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  46. ^ Green, Kris (13 January 2009). "Walford's Dotty: The Face of Evil?". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 

External links[edit]