24 MARCH 2009

June Brown, the 82-year-old actress behind one of Albert Square's oldest and best-known residents, Dot Cotton, has received her first best TV actress nomination at this year's British Academy Television Awards.

Suffolk-born June, who has starred as the chain-smoking gossip since EastEnders launched in 1985, is being feted for her solo episode in January 2008. She faces competition from Poppy Shakespeare's Anna Maxwell Martin, Maxine Peake and Andrea Riseborough for her portrayal of the young Margaret Thatcher in The Long Walk To Finchley.

Maxine's nomination is one of three for top BBC drama Hancock And Joan. Lead actor Ken Stott is included in the best actor shortlist, and the programme, which charts the final year of comedian Tony Hancock, is up for best single drama.

Other nominees for the awards - presented at a star-studded ceremony on Sunday, April 26 - include Gavin And Stacey's Rob Brydon and Peep Show's David Mitchell, who'll be battling it out for the best comedic performance. Jason Isaacs from The Curse Of Steptoe, The Shooting Of Thomas Hurndall's Stephen Dillane and Criminal Justice's Ben Whishaw complete the best actor hopefuls.

The contenders for best entertainment performance are Jonathan Ross, Stephen Fry, Harry Hill and I'm A Celebrity… hosts Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. Top drama series nominees include Doctor Who, Shameless and Spooks.

And hoping to be named best entertainment programme on the night are X Factor, QI, Harry Hill's TV Burp and The Sunday Night Project.

Click here to see the full list of nominees

EastEnders actress June Brown, 82, who has starred as chain-smoking Dot Cotton since the show began in 1985, has received her first Bafta TV awards nomination
BBC drama Hancock And Joan has received three nominations for awards, which will be handed out at a Sunday, 26 April ceremony. Its stars, Ken Stott and Maxine Peake, both have individual nods, while their programme is entered in the best single drama category