Michelle II has some big secret lurking and EastEnders fans are curious…

“Things have happened in America and she needed to come back. The only place she felt she could go was home, back to Walford.” – Jenna Russell

She has only been back in Walford for a couple of weeks but it’s apparent that something is playing on Michelle Fowler’s (Jenna Russell) mind. The debate has been rumbling on online as to what the character could be hiding…

Tongue-in-cheek suggestions include Michelle fleeing a Trump presidency stateside or even being an imposter due to her head swap (the role was previously played by Susan Tully). More serious ponderings centre on if it has anything to do with her staying away from Walford for so long until now. As well as avoiding the father of her son, Grant Mitchell, who himself moved away from Walford years ago, could something else have happened prior to her moving to America?

Michelle’s marriage being in trouble is a good shout following Monday’s (9 January) episode when viewers watched, on the edge of their seats, as Stacey overheard Michelle upset on the phone talking to her husband.

All will be revealed tonight on BBC One when Sharon (Letitia Dean) finds her best friend sobbing in the Square – as seen in these hitherto unreleased pictures below. In the main image we see Michelle alone sitting on the bench, dedicated to her late father, as she ponders her situation, while inset Sharon comforts her oldest pal.

Michelle’s real reasons for being back in Walford are revealed this evening as she opens up to Sharon

This special episode focuses on Sharon and Michelle’s friendship and when the explosive truth is revealed how will Sharon react to the news and will Michelle end up leaving Walford once more?

Michelle was recast after an absence of two decades late last year by the shows latest producer Sean O’Connor. The character was played for EastEnders’ first decade by Susan Tully who has since quit acting and declined an offer to reprise the iconic role. Jenna Russell arrived as Michelle on Christmas Eve when she pulled up outside of the Minute Mart in the back of a black cab, before an emotional reunion with long-time best friend Sharon.

Russell has notched up many television and stage credits. Her accolades include an Olivier Award and Theatre World Award for Broadway Debut Performance playing Dot, in Sunday In The Park with George, leading roles as Deborah in Born and Bred, Maggie in On The Up, and is the vocalist on the theme tune to Red Dwarf.

“Michelle has come back to Walford with a big secret that she feels she can’t share. Somehow or other there’s a reason she wants to be there with her best friend, Sharon, because she’s got something to say and is terrified about saying it.” – Sean O’Connor, Executive Producer

EastEnders, tonight (Thursday 12th January) at 7.30pm on BBC One

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