‘It’s so nice to see how many people are coming together at this time’
With filming brought to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak, the cast of EastEnders have, like all other actors, been forced to down tools, head home and observe the Government’s national lockdown.
But star Milly Zero, who plays Dotty Cotton on the BBC1 soap, has found a noble way to make use of her free time by signing up as an NHS Volunteer Responder to help vulnerable people stay safe and well during the pandemic.
Talking exclusively to whatsontv.co.uk, Milly tells us: “It’s like an app, and you get notifications through if someone needs you. It’s mostly driving around, picking up prescriptions or picking up people from hospital or delivering food packages; things like that.
“But it’s really nice, and it gets you out of the house as well, which is lovely.”
The 20 year old, who so far hasn’t been recognised as ‘the girl off the telly’, adds: “It’s so nice to see how many people are coming together at this time. It’s brought out the best in people.
“It’s been such a pause and a breath, and I hope that when we go back to normal life, people can remember how that felt, and remember to be kind and be united.”
The Government made a call last month for 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who had been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.
Within days, over half a million people had signed up; more than double the Government’s target, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson promising that they would play an “absolutely crucial role” in helping to protect those most at risk.
Zero joined the cast of EastEnders last year as the daughter of now late villain nasty Nick Cotton, and grandaughter of Walford stalwart Dot Branning.
Her character Dotty is currently at the centre of a major storyline in which she has discovered Ian Beale’s big secret – that he had a hand to play in the death of friend Sharon Watts’ son Dennis, who drowned at the doomed Queen Vic boat party in February.
EastEnders will temporarily air a reduced schedule of two episodes a week. Watch on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7:30pm on BBC One.