Plot line to cherish

August 4, 2011

It's a storyline the EastEnders scriptwriters would have been proud of. June Brown, the 84-year-old actress who plays the deeply Christian busybody Dot Cotton in the BBC soap, turns out to be descended from religious Eastenders herself - but in her case it's Sephardi Jewish ones.

Brown's great-great-great-grandfather was a Dutch-born bare-knuckle fighter by the name of Isaac Bitton who remained unbeaten through his career in the backstreets of London, culminating in a 74-round bout. On Who Do You Think You Are, Brown discovered Bitton's mother had died alone in Amsterdam, having survived all of her many children, except for the one who had fled to London to make his fortune in the ring. Add a snatched baby or two and you could almost be watching EastEnders.

Last updated: 1:07pm, August 4 2011