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EastEnders star June Brown reveals she is going blind and no longer recognises friends

Such sad news...

june brown
Fiona Ward
Fiona WardActing Fashion and Beauty Editor
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Legendary EastEnders actress June Brown has revealed that she is losing her sight – so badly that she no longer recognises her friends. The 92 year-old told The Mirror: "I've got very poor sight. I've got extra lenses inside my eyes to try to help me read better. They help with ­peripheral vision, but I’ve got no central vision. I can't go out socially. I never go to soap awards now. I don't recognise people I know and they would think that I was snubbing them."

june brown eastenders

June has revealed her sight is really deteriorating

The star had eye surgery in 2017 to fit the new lenses, and has suffered from macular degeneration for ten years. She revealed that Amazon's Alexa has been helping her as an alternative to newspapers. "Alexa could help me keep up with what’s going on in the world, because I've given up on my papers now," she said. "I could read the headlines at one time but that’s impossible now."

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"And I have got loads of fan letters that I haven't been able to read or reply to since it all started," she added. "I don't like to just send cards and sign them, I have all different sorts I like to chose from personally. So if someone mentioned Ethel, Gretchen Franklin, I'd send them one with a picture of Dot and Ethel. I used to be meticulous about that but now I've got nobody, really, to help me do it."

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She said to her interviewer: "I can’t tell you what it's like, but you wouldn’t want it, dear. So just pray for your health and strength, hearing and eyesight, and an active mind."

dot branning

EastEnders character Dot Branning

After having her surgery in 2017, June spoke out about the positive results, telling The Express: "I can see people’s faces and recognise my children again. I can read again." Her condition has been written into the storyline of her beloved EastEnders character, Dot Branning; the actress recently took a break from the soap to focus on her health, but is understood to have renewed her contract with the soap for 2019.