Disappointing news for fans of the soap 'Eastenders' today as it looks like character Dot Cotton has exited the show.

Dot Cotton has featured on the show since it was created in 1985, making her one of the series's longest running characters.

The last time she appeared in an episode was last month. The character left a voicemail message for granddaughter Sonia Fowler saying she had moved to Ireland to reunite with her grandson Charlie Cotton.

June Brown, the veteran 93-year-old actress behind the much-loved personality, was the one to confirm the news that Dot's time in the series has ended.

She was asked by interviewer and former co-star Rani Singh whether 'EastEnders' had put her on a retainer on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast.

Brown said: "I don't want a retainer. I've left, I've left for good.

"I've sent myself to Ireland and that's where she'll stay. I have left 'EastEnders'.

"I did make up a limerick. It’s a bit dirty. I went back to do a good story. Alas and alack, when I got back it had gone up in smoke.

"I got a small part, a very small part. And that ended up as a big wet fart. Alas and alack, I will never go back."

She also said it "was a very strange feeling" leaving the soap.

"I was feeling rather down the other day," she commented. "I thought, 'what's the matter? Why do I feel so sad?' It's almost as if I've been bereaved.

"I've played two people simultaneously for 35 years. Really Dot wasn't me, but spiritually she probably was."

An spokesman for 'EastEnders' said: "We never discuss artists' contracts, however as far as 'EastEnders' are concerned the door remains open for June, as it always has if the story arises and if June wishes to take part."