Lord Michael Cashman has reprized his role as Colin Russell in EastEnders when he returned to film Dot Cotton’s funeral on Wednesday.
The actor, who has since quit acting to pursue a career in politics, was spotted chatting to returning star Linda Davidson, who is reprising her role as Mary “The Punk” Smith.
Michael made history when he appeared on EastEnders in the early 1980s when he became Walford’s first gay resident and shared the first mouth-to-mouth kiss between two men to appear on a British soap opera.
For the scenes, Michael was seen laughing between takes with co-star Linda as they prepared to say their final goodbyes to Dot.
Following the death of actress June Brown in April, six cast members return to Walford to attend Dot’s funeral.
Speaking of his return, Ord Cashman said: “When I was called back I didn’t even hesitate because I couldn’t imagine not being there in June and I know Colin couldn’t have imagined not being there for Dot – they had this amazing, deep friendship that lasted through their years, and June and I were exactly the same.
“June was unique and there are so many incredible stories I could tell, but one of my favorite moments from Dot was her monologue with Jim – she was a character and an actress that will stand the test of time.”
Michael made history playing “Yuppie” Colin in EastEnders when he became Walford’s first ever gay resident.
He was known to have been close friends with Dot, despite their initial rejection of his homosexuality as it conflicted with their strict religious views.
Since leaving Walford, Michael has pursued a career in politics and was elected Member of Parliament for the West Midlands in 1999.
He was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year Honors for Civil and Political Service and in 2014 Michael was made a Life Peer, earning him a seat in the House of Lords.
In 2016, Lord Michael also briefly returned to the EastEnders to reprise his role as Colin and returned to the Square to try and convince Dot to attend his wedding, as she was opposed to same-sex marriage hesitated.
However, after Dot witnesses the funeral of Paul Coker, who was killed in a homophobic attack, he agrees, to his delight, to attend Colin’s wedding.