'EastEnders' star Milly Zero quits soap as Dotty Cotton after three years

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 22/02/2022 - Programme Name: EastEnders - January-March 2022 - TX: 28/02/2022 - Episode: EastEnders - January-March 2022 - 6442 (No. 6442) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 22ND FEBRUARY 2022*** Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Milly Zero as Dotty Cotton in 'EastEnders' (BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

EastEnders star Milly Zero has reportedly quit the soap after three years as Dotty Cotton.

The 23-year-old actress has been playing the tearaway teen granddaughter of the iconic Dot Branning (June Brown) since 2019, but has now filmed her final scenes.

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Zero confirmed the news on her Instagram on Sunday, saying in a statement: "After 3 & a half years – I have decided my journey with the icon that is Dotty Cotton has come to an end.

Dot Branning (JUNE BROWN), Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO) (BBC / Jack Barnes)
Milly Zero and June Brown as Dotty Cotton and Dot Branning on 'EastEnders' (BBC / Jack Barnes)

"I can't tell you how life changing my time at EastEnders has been, and how much I am going to miss it, but I am ready for new challenges now.

"Thank you to everyone that made it so special – I have made friends for life, learnt huge amounts and made memories to last a lifetime. I can't wait for you all to watch her exit, she goes out with a bang!"

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Zero's final scenes will air by the end of the year, and will come shortly after the soap pays tribute to the late Brown, who died in April at the age of 95.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 07/09/2021 - Programme Name: EastEnders - July-September 2021 - TX: 17/09/2021 - Episode: EastEnders - July-September 2021 - 6344 (No. 6344) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 7TH SEPTEMBER 2021*** Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO), Tiffany Butcher (MAISIE SMITH) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes
Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) and Tiffany Butcher (Maisie Smith) on 'EastEnders' (BBC)

Dot Branning was seen leaving her longtime home of Walford and moving to Ireland in January 2020 to look after her grandson Charlie.

She was one of the first original castmembers of the series, appearing in the show's first episode and remaining with the soap for 35 years.

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The show plans to honour the legendary actress and character with its own funeral.

According to The Sun, Dotty will leave the show shortly after the emotional episode.

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 08/02/2022 - Programme Name: EastEnders - January-March 2022 - TX: 14/02/2022 - Episode: EastEnders - January-March 2022 - 6434 (No. 6434) - Picture Shows: ***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 8TH FEBRUARY 2022** Rocky (BRIAN CONLEY), Dotty Cotton (MILLY ZERO) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Brian Conley and Milly Zero as Tom Cotton and Dotty Cotton (BBC)

A source added: "The door is being left open for her return. This is not a final goodbye for Dotty."

Yahoo has contacted EastEnders for comment and clarification.

Zero joined the cast of EastEnders in 2019, taking over from Molly Conlin, who had played the troubled Dotty from 2008 to 2010.

Since then, she's been seen in schemes to con money out of Sonia Jackson (Natalie Cassidy) by enlisting her uncle Tom Cotton (Brian Conley) to pretend to be her long-lost father.

Dotty also directly contributed to the exit of Maisie Smith's Tiffany Butcher, after sleeping with her husband, Keegan Baker. This resulted in a brutal cat fight in the gym.

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