He first appeared without introducing himself when he accompanied a policewoman on 10 March 2014, informing Dot of Nick's "death". The assumption was that he was a policeman. He returned later and explained to Dot that he is Nick's son; the result of a brief marriage in the late 1980s. He said that a friend down at the station mentioned a dead Cotton. Dot struggles to accept Charlie, while he helps with the arrangements for Nick's funeral. Dot insists that the coffin will be in the house on the day before the funeral. When Dot's friends visit to pay their respects to Nick, Charlie gets into an argument with Ian Beale and the coffin falls open and an arm falls out. Charlie is quick to react, and tells the funeral director Les Coker to nail the coffin closed so nothing like it happens again. After Nick's funeral, Charlie takes Dot to the crematorium to see Nick's body before cremation, but they are too late, leaving Dot devastated. Charlie later has sex with Ronnie Mitchell after she accidentally runs over Lola Pearce in her car.
Charlie and Dot continue to grow close and she introduces her husband Jim to him off-screen. Les begins to blackmail Charlie by threatening to reveal secrets about Nick's death and funeral. Dot discovers that nobody called Charlie Cotton works in the police force, and questions whether he is really her grandson at all. She refuses to listen to Charlie's excuses, instead opting to contact his mother Yvonne for answers. Yvonne backs up Charlie's story that his case requires him to use a false name, but after the meeting Charlie warns Yvonne to make sure that she keeps their secret, as otherwise a member of Dot's family will hurt her again. Ronnie ignores his messages for a while before it is revealed she is pregnant. She ends their relationship and leaves Walford without telling Charlie she is pregnant with his child. She later tells him and Charlie proposes they get married on New Years Day and Ronnie's waters break as they are on there way to the hospital they end up in a car accident that resulted in the birth of there son, Matthewand Ronnie being left in a coma. As he grieves his wife being in a coma, he has an affair with Ronnie's sister, Roxy. Later him and Ronnie broke up. Charlie's last episode was broadcast on 24 September 2015, where viewers were left wondering if Charlie had been killed by Ronnie and Vincent Hubbard (Richard Blackwood It was later revealed that he was still alive.