The controller of BBC1 has hailed chain-smoking EastEnders stalwart Dot Branning as an example of a Christian living out her faith in a "day to day way".
Danny Cohen made the remarks after being challenged to provide instances of ordinary believers on television who were not "freaks, geeks or antiques".
Branning, played by June Brown and better known as Dot Cotton before she remarried, is one of the longest-serving characters on the BBC1 soap having joined shortly after its launch in 1985, although the actor took a break from the show in the 1990s. The character is in her 70s and known for her devout Christian faith, chain-smoking, gossiping and hypochondria.
Cohen told delegates attending this year's Church and Media conference on Tuesday: "She is a single example of someone who lives out her faith on television in a charitable way." Read more