When 92-year-old June Brown was asked to give up drinking booze and smoking cigarettes, she had one thing to say – the key to a long life is doing simply, “what you damn well please.”
She plays Albert Square favorite Dot Banning on the soap opera, Eastenders. One of the things that she claims keep her going is her snub of a healthy lifestyle despite her age.
While speaking to the Mirror, she said, “I’m going to die of something fairly soon, so why not enjoy myself? I love red wine and also dark chocolate and the Guinness helps me keep a bit of weight on. So I don’t need to be careful about what I eat or drink. What’s the point of counting how many cigarettes I smoke a day? I’ve been on them for over 70 years”.
She continued, “I did try one of those new electronic cigarettes, but it was so heavy it kept falling out of my mouth – so that went in the bin.” June Brown is definitely not a fan of the e-cigarettes.
It is important that we take a look at June Brown’s legendary soap opera career; she joined the EastEnders show in 1985 and she has never looked back since then. Her option to retire kicked in some thirty years ago but she has stayed steadfast in doing what gives her joy.
Her character on the show is one of the most beloved and demographics shows she also has a huge fan base amongst the old audience. A particular industry insider source had this to say about 92-year old June Brown, “BBC bosses know that June has a huge fan base and she’s a big draw for older viewers. She’s a real character and the rest of the cast and crew love her too”.
This is what prompted the BBC executives to offer her a new contract last April that would keep her on the show for more years – some sort of lifetime contract that would let her stay on the show till her death.
With old age comes deteriorating health and this is evident in her increasing health issues . This has had a negative effect on her social life of late. For example, her eyesight is not the best anymore and it is gradually failing  due to muscular degeneration in the last ten years.
This has caused June to miss recent soap award shows and an inability to read fan mail. Any of these didn’t keep the BBC execs from offering that new contract. This shows just how important she is to EastEnders.
The source continued, “They want her to be on the show as long as she feels comfortable acting so we are delighted that she’s agreed to renew her contract. June finds working regularly keeps her feeling young at heart and enjoys the job immensely.”
While unhealthy lifestyle habits like drinking and smoking have undoubtedly been shown to reduce your lifespan, there are always exceptions to the rules – and June Brown has never been one to quit anything. She did miss six months from the show in order to write her autobiography but returned immediately and continued with her job and passion.
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