EastEnders has revealed what’s been on Michelle Fowler’s mind since her out of the blue return to Walford over Christmas.
Michelle (Jenna Russell) dropped a bombshell on best friend Sharon (Letitia Dean) as the beeb aired a special semi-two hander episode of the soap tonight (12 January).
After whining to her best mate how she’d developed ‘bingo wings’ and her husband, Tim, hadn’t been showing her any affection, Michelle admitted to a stunned Sharon that she had become romantically involved with a 17-year-old boy – one of her students – in Florida.
“I fell in love, madly, like an idiot. He couldn’t keep his hands off me, but it wasn’t just about the sex.” – EastEnders character – Michelle Fowler
Florida’s age of consent is 18 and Michelle’s reckless and illegal actions were exposed after plans she had made to run away with her underage lover fell through, making her a pariah in Florida and prompting her return to Walford.
“We’d planned it out. Monday night before Christmas. I know it sounds harsh, but we were going to have our first Christmas. He’d break it to his family, I’d tell Tim I wanted a divorce.
“We didn’t get the chance. His mum found his suitcase and came into the school. The board demanded my immediate resignation. [They had] no choice. I’d broken the law.
“Tim told me he wanted a divorce. Mark refused to stay in the house. It was Christmas. I couldn’t see him on the street so I moved into a motel. The things they said about me Sharon…” – EastEnders’ Michelle Fowler
Michelle’s secret has been teased ever since the character made an unexpected return to Walford over Christmas.
“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 teasing Michelle’s secret prior to tonight’s episode
Executive Producer Sean O’Connor recast the character of Michelle late last year after an absence of two decades. 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 debuted 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.