Dotty Cotton

Dotty Cotton
Dotty Cotton
Dotty Cotton.jpg
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Molly Conlin
Introduced by Diederick Santer
Duration 2008–10
First appearance 26 December 2008
Last appearance 23 February 2010
Classification Former; regular
Alias Kirsty Cotton (real name)
Date of birth 1 February 2002

Kirsty "Dotty" Cotton is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Molly Conlin. Dotty is the daughter of Nick Cotton (John Altman) and Sandy (Caroline Pegg), and the granddaughter of Dot Cotton (June Brown). She first appeared on 26 December 2008. Dotty's storylines mainly centred on her and her father's devious ways. She assisted Nick in trying to kill her grandmother, Dot, by persuading her that she was suffering from dementia and later trying to poison her, to inherit the money from her will. She and Dot subsequently became friends after Nick's failed murder attempt. In her final storyline, shown on 23 February 2010, Dotty left Walford with her mother Sandy, whom she had believed to be dead.




Dotty, whose real name is Kirsty, was conceived in a one-night stand between Nick and an alcoholic woman named Sandy (Caroline Pegg).[1] While serving time in prison, Nick received a letter from Sandy telling him that she had given birth to their daughter. Upon his early release in April 2008, Nick took custody of Dotty, telling her that Sandy had died in a car crash.


Dotty arrives in Walford on Christmas Day with Nick, to see her estranged grandmother Dot Branning (June Brown). Nick introduces Dot to Dotty and they quickly bond. 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. After spending the night, Dotty begs Dot to let them stay longer. Dot soon discovers that Nick is unemployed and he and Dotty have been living rough. Nick says he will either put Dotty into care or sell her to Dot. 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. They plan to kill Dot to inherit the money, and trick her into thinking she is suffering from dementia. Eventually, Dotty is told by Nick to give Dot an overdose of her medication, but, Dotty has had a change of heart and gives the pills to Nick in his beer. When Nick learns of Dotty's double-crossing, he drags her to the café and holds everyone inside hostage. Dotty escapes along with most of the others, but the café explodes, and in the commotion, Nick escapes. Dot suspects Dotty may be just as evil as Nick, so plants some tablets on the kitchen table whilst Dotty has her back turned. Dot leaves the room and spies on Dotty, who ignores the tablets.

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

Dot receives a visit from Dotty's mother Sandy. Dot assumes she is from Social Services, but Sandy says she is looking for her daughter Kirsty. Dot says she knows nobody of that name, but when she sees a photo she realises that it is Dotty. Dot hides Sandy's visit from Dotty, but later talks to Sandy about her daughter and her past. She also asks Dotty about the friends and family she used to have, but Dotty says Dot is the only family she needs. However, the child soon admits that she misses her mother, and Dot reveals that she is alive and Nick had lied to her. Dotty says she wants to see her mother, so Dot calls her. When Sandy arrives, Dotty is delighted and Dot tells Dotty she should go with Sandy. They say an emotional goodbye, and Dot says she can visit at any time.

Creation and development


June Brown plays Dotty's grandmother, Dot.

It was announced in December 2008 that Molly Conlin had been cast as Dotty. Speaking of her casting, Conlin said, "I'm really excited about it because I have always wanted to be in EastEnders."[2]

Conlin was considered too old for the part of Tiffany Dean she initially auditioned for but she succeeded in impressing the producers, who offered her the role of Dotty instead. Dotty was supposed to be eleven years old, but on Conlin's casting, they changed her to be seven.[2] She was originally meant to be a guest character.[3] She first appeared on 26 December 2008.[4] 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."[5]

Storyline development

It was revealed, upon Dotty's arrival, that Nick would sell Dotty to Dot. A source said, "[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 ... Dot can't say no to Nick and she's about to make a huge mistake."[6] Nick later blackmails Dot into buying Dotty.[7] John Altman said that Dotty would have "quite a few more surprises up her sleeve to keep the nation guessing".[8] EastEnders' executive producer Diederick Santer told Digital Spy in May 2009 that Dotty's storyline would go "to a very, very dark place!"[5] 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.[5] Dotty left on 23 February 2010.[9]


The EastEnders website describes Dotty as "a devil in disguise" and "the perennial bad seed, if only her grandma could see it. She might look like butter wouldn't melt, but she's her father's daughter through and through."[10] She was also described as conniving, backstabbing and cold-hearted.[10] Altman described Dotty as "a chip off the old block",[11] as did Nancy Banks-Smith from The Guardian[12] though the Daily Record described Dotty as "a chip off her grandma's block".[13] Charlie Clements, who played Bradley Branning, said that Dotty, being Nick's daughter, was "bound to be a bit iffy."[14] He also called her "evil",[14] as did several critics.[15] Roz Laws from the Sunday Mercury called her pigtails 'cute'.[16] Simon called Dotty "[the] apple that hasn't fallen far from the tree."[17] On Holy Soap, Dotty is called a "demon child" and "sweetness and light" on the surface, "but underneath lurks a devil!".[1] The Daily Record called Dotty "angelic",[13] while Sara Wallis from the Daily Mirror decsribed her as "nasty".[18] Nancy Banks-Smith from The Guardian described Dotty as "enigmatic"[12] and The Sun said "Dotty is one of the youngest, most wicked female soap villains".[19]


Kris Green from Digital Spy compared Dotty's image to that of Damien Thorn from The Omen and Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist.[20] 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."[21] Ruth Deller form Lowculture criticised the character, calling her "Dick Van Dyke in little girl form".[22] Jane Simon from the Daily Mirror criticised Dotty's accent and the storyline surrounding poisoning Dot.[23] On Dotty's departure, Maeve Quigley from the Daily Mirror said that she was glad to see Dotty leave.[24] Brown opined that Dot and Nick's storyline with Dotty was one of her highlights of the series,[25] as did Altman.[26]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Dotty Cotton". Holy Soap (Channel 5). Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Halstead: Molly, 7, lands a role in TV's East Enders". 21 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  3. ^ Wardrop, Murray (2 December 2008). "Eastenders villain 'Nasty Nick' returns to Albert Square". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Green, Kris (26 December 2008). "Roxy is devastated to find baby Amy missing". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c Green, Kris (1 May 2009). "Exclusive: 'Enders boss hints at character plots". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Blackburn, Jen (2 January 2009). "Rotten Cotton". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). Retrieved 15 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sick Nick". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). 9 January 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  8. ^ Green, Kris (24 December 2008). "John Altman (Nick Cotton, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Green, Kris (23 February 2010). "Zainab gives birth to a baby boy". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  10. ^ a b "Dotty Cotton played by Molly Conlin". EastEnders. BBC Online. 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dot, meet Dotty: First pictures of Nick Cotton's daughter as he returns to EastEnders". Daily Mail (UK). 3 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ a b "Soap stories". Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland: The Free Library). 30 May 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Green, Kris (26 May 2009). "Charlie Clements (Bradley Branning, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  15. ^ These critics include:
  16. ^ Laws, Roz (18 January 2009). "Dotty is pure EVIL; eastenders the one to watch.". Sunday Mercury (The Free Library). Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  17. ^ Simon, Jane (23 January 2009). "We love telly: WE LOVE SOAPS". The Mirror (The Free Library). Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  18. ^ Wallis, Sara (3 December 2008). "Nick's just dotty for daughter". The Mirror (The Free Library).'s+just+dotty+for+daughter.-a0189981186. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  19. ^ "What to watch on TV tonight". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  20. ^ Green, Kris (13 January 2009). "Walford's Dotty: The Face of Evil?". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  21. ^ 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. 
  22. ^ Deller, Ruth (14 January 2009). "Soapstar Superstars: January". Lowculture. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  23. ^ Simon, Jane (2 June 2009). "We love telly; Losing her thread". The Mirror (The Free Library). Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  24. ^ Quigley, Maeve (16 February 2010). "We love telly; PICK OF THE DAY". The Mirror (The Free Library). Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  25. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (18 March 2011). "Exclusive: June Brown (Dot Branning, 'EastEnders')". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  26. ^ Lee-Porter, Adam (31 May 2009). "'Dot saved ' me.. she's been a real Ma to me ' AFTER 24 YEARS I S IT THE ENDERS OF NASTY NICK?". The Mirror (The Free Library).'Dot+saved+'+me..+she's+been+a+real+Ma+to+me+'+AFTER+24+YEARS+I+S+IT...-a0200866067. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 

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