Charlie Brooks has agreed to reprise her iconic role of Janine Butcher in EastEnders.
The Sun reports that the actress has agreed to return to the BBC One soap and that bosses have lined up a “huge” reintroduction storyline for her.
“Bosses have a huge story planned for Charlie’s return. She certainly has a lot of history in Albert Square so whether she will be welcomed back with open arms or not remains to be seen. One thing the viewers can be sure about is that it is bound to be explosive. Wherever Janine goes, drama is never far behind.” – EastEnders source speaking to The Sun
The character’s return to Walford is expected to air ‘later this year’ with some sources noting that it will hit screens in the summer.
Brooks took over the role of Janine in 1999. The character had been a part of storylines on-and-off since 1989, previously played by Alexia Demetriou and Rebecca Michael.
Ian Beale was one of Janine’s clients when she was on the game in 2002.
Ian paying Janine for sex led to a long feud between his wife Laura and Janine
A troubled young girl, Janine grew up to become one of soapland’s biggest bitches with a whole host of dastardly deeds to her name including marrying Barry Evans for his money before pushing him off a cliff. She coldly watched as Barry drew his last breath, ignoring his pleas for help.
She attempted to kill her second husband Ryan Malloy by poisoning him after she found out that he had been cheating on her with Stacey Slater, who Janine tried to frame after stabbing herself.
Janine’s third husband Michael Moon met his maker after being stabbed by her, although the killing was in self-defence at the culmination of a deadly feud between the pair.
A rich, elderly Jewish man called David was nearly husband number two, he suffered a fatal heart attack when he found out who ‘Judith Bernstein’ really was.
Janine offered no succour when first hubby Barry went tumbling down a cliff
Janine had a complex relationship with her stepmother Pat over the years
Janine tried to marry David for his money; his heart gave way when her true identity was exposed
Other explosive storylines over the years include prostitution, agoraphobia and drug addiction.
Her final on-screen appearance in 2014 showed her at St Pancras station heading for France to see her daughter Scarlett.
The Sun’s source added of her comeback: “The potential for Janine is huge. She has enemies all around the Square who she’d gladly go to war with, and she’s shown before she isn’t afraid to kill to get her way. It could have huge repercussions for some of the big names in EastEnders. She’s not going to come back and play nice.”
Brooks originally played the role of Janine between 1999-2004, before returning to the soap in 2008 for a special week of episodes that saw Janine’s father Frank laid to rest. Appetite whet, she agreed to make a full-time return later that year continuing through to 2014.
The actress took an extended break from EastEnders in 2012 to participate in the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! – she triumphed over Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts to win the series. Her other TV credits include Bleak House, Heartbeat, Wired and Suspects.
Janine tried to kill her second husband Ryan after he cheated on her
Stacey Slater was another of Janine’s sparring partners