EastEnders actress June Brown has been recognised for her long-running role as Dot Cotton with a special television award.

The soap star, who turned 90 last month, was handed the special accolade at the Television and Radio Industries Club Awards in central London on Tuesday.

As they arrived at the event, actors from across the world of soaps had heaped praise on June for her “incredible” career.

June Brown
June Brown (Ian West/PA)

The actress had also been nominated in the soap personality category but lost out to Coronation Street’s Kym Marsh for her portrayal of Michelle Connor, who has been part of testing storylines including the miscarriage of her baby.

A surprise winner at the ceremony was This Morning host Holly Willoughby, who collected the TV personality of the year award ahead of television duo Ant & Dec who have won the prize for the last five years.

Also nominated in the category was Celebrity Juice star Keith Lemon, portrayed by Leigh Francis, who had joked as he arrived it was a near-certainty that Britain’s Got Talent presenters Ant & Dec would win.

Kym Marsh
Kym Marsh (Ian West/PA)

Holly was a double winner at the awards as This Morning was handed the best daytime programme prize.

On her win over Ant & Dec, she said: “It’s amazing. They win absolutely everything, that is amazing. I’m delighted, I can’t even begin to tell you how delighted I am.”

Speaking on the red carpet before the event, Emmerdale actress Samantha Giles thanked EastEnder June for giving her one of her first acting roles.

Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby (Ian West/PA)

Samantha told the Press Association: “I love June. (She) gave me one of my first jobs years ago. I was in a show that she directed in Edinburgh.

“She’s incredible, I really hope she wins. Today she’s a fantastic actress and a lovely person.”

John Altman, who played Dot’s son “Nasty” Nick Cotton for 30 years on the soap, called June “incredible”.

June Brown and John Altman
June Brown and John Altman (Ian West/PA)

He said: “She’s a dear, dear friend and we did a bit of celebrating the past few weeks. It’s been an absolute treat.

“I said: ‘I’ve been in business for 40 years’; she said: ‘I can beat that darling’.

“Sixty-eight years she’s been working in the business. She’s a legend, she’s incredible, it’s been an absolute treat to work with her.”

Len Goodman’s final series as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing was crowned best reality programme ahead of ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent and The X Factor, while the BBC also collected the drama programme of the year prize for Poldark.

Soap of the year was EastEnders, which beat Emmerdale and Coronation Street, while Lemon collected the award for best satellite/digital programme after Celebrity Juice was handed the prize over Made In Chelsea and The Only Way Is Essex.

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer
Ian Wright and Alan Shearer (Ian West/PA)

The winner of the best sports programme was Match Of The Day, which beat Channel 4 show The Last Leg and Sky panel show A League Of Their Own, while the Sir David Attenborough-narrated Planet Earth Two was awarded best factual programme.

Meanwhile, the former Top Gear team of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond’s The Grand Tour lost out to Netflix series The Crown in the original streamed programme category.