Entertainment

Coronation Street and EastEnders stars receive New Year’s Honours after decades on-screen


Coronation Street and EastEnders stars June Brown and William Roache have received New Year’s Honours as 2021 draws to a close.

EastEnders actress June, 94, who is best known as Dot Cotton on the BBC One soap, has been made an OBE after she joined the long-running drama in 1985 before announcing she was leaving Albert Square in February 2020.

Meanwhile William, 89, also known as Bill, has also been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list after he has played Ken Barlow on Coronation Street since it first aired on December 9 1960 and is currently the world’s longest-serving television actor.

June played the character of Dot Cotton for 35 years from 1985 until 2020 with a break between 1993 and 1997.



William Roache
Coronation Street actor William Roache



June Brown
June Brown has been awarded an OBE

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In 2008 June became the first soap character, as of 2020, to lead an entire episode which featured a moving monologue of Dot’s life dictated into a cassette machine for her husband Jim Branning, played by the late John Bardon, to listen to while he recovered in hospital from a stroke.

However in May 2015 June revealed that her eyesight was failing due to macular degeneration, a medical condition resulting in blurred or no vision, and a storyline for Dot was introduced in 2016 surrounding her eye health.



Dot Cotton
June as Dot Cotton

William was spotted by Coronation Street creator Tony Warren after playing a solider in a Granada Television play called Marking Time which aired on ITV in 1961.



June Brown
June joined EastEnders in 1985



Dot Cotton
Dot was a key character on EastEnders



Queen
June with her late EastEnders co-star Barbara Windsor and the Queen

Ken, who was married to Deirdre Barlow, played by the late Anne Kirkbride, has been at the centre of many storylines including a a rivalry with Mike Baldwin, Johnny Briggs, and has locked horns on various occasions with his adoptive daughter Tracy Barlow.



Coronation Street
Mike Baldwin fighting with Ken Barlow


Ken Barlow
Ken with Tracy and Deirdre



Coronation Street
Deirdre and Ken tied the knot in 1981

The New Year’s Honours list has also seen Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway, 54, been made an MBE for her efforts to document her husband Derek Draper’s coronavirus battle, which left his organs, including his heart, lungs, liver and pancreas damaged.



William Roache
William at the 21st National Television Awards at The O2 Arena in 2016



Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
William with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall



William Roache
William meeting the Queen on the set of Coronation Street

Derek, also 54, was hospitalised in March 2020 after contracting Covid-19. He then became one of the longest surviving in-patients with the deadly virus in the UK.

The author and political advisor was in hospital for more than a year. He has now returned home but still requires care after the long-term impact the virus left on him.



Kate is one of many celebrities who have been honoured this year
Kate Garraway has been made an MBE for her efforts to document her husband Derek Draper’s coronavirus battle



Kate Garraway
Kate and her husband Derek Draper in 2007

Kate has been documenting her husband’s progress as well as how she and her children Darcey, 15, and Billy, 12, have coped.

In September this year, the TV presenter won the authored documentary prize for Finding Derek at the National Television Awards.

She is now working on a sequel to the documentary, titled Caring For Derek, which is set to be released in 2022.

Kate is not the only celebrity to be honoured by Prince Charles, 73, this year as many actors, TV presenters, musicians, Olympic athletes and a Royal chef were all given awards too.




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