EastEnders star June Brown was shocked when she visited co-star John Bardon on his sick bed.

The pair play husband and wife Dot and Jim Branning in the soap, but John, 73, suffered a stroke five years ago and is now cared for by his real-life wife Enda.

June, 85, visits them for her new BBC documentary Respect Your Elders and declares she would rather die than live like that, the Daily Mirror reports.

June was visibly shocked to see how ill John is. She held his hand and asked how his condition made him feel. He wept softly before whispering: “Oh dear.”

John insisted he was still thankful and happy to be alive, but he reluctantly admitted he was unhappy to be a burden to his wife.

After the visit June declared: “Just put me down.”

She added: “It’s good that John’s happy despite his condition but I wouldn’t fancy being resuscitated. I would not want to be unable to talk. Imagine not being able to talk when you’re a talkative person.

“At my age, 85, I wouldn’t want to be learning to walk, to be fed, to have my toilet dealt with by someone else, if you understand what I mean.”

In the show about old people in society, which airs on BBC One on Thursday at 10.35pm, June has a pendant engraved with “Do Not Resuscitate” to wear round her neck.

She said: “I trust that I will die well. Certainly I would not like to go into a care home. That’s my worst fear. I like my own home and would like to die here.

“My girls say if anything happened to me they’d look after me. But I’m not sure that’s what I want. I don’t want to be a burden to anyone.”