One of EastEnders’ biggest villains is back – with actress Charlie Brooks set to return as Janine Butcher after more than seven years.
Both the BBC and the actress have confirmed Janine’s comeback, with Brooks saying she is “beyond excited” to get back to Albert Square and the soap’s producers promising “lots of drama”.
Janine was last seen in EastEnders in March 2014, when she left for Paris to pick up daughter Scarlett, who is also making a return.
The character was involved in a number of high-profile storylines – most famously the death of her husband, Barry Evans, who she pushed down a cliff during a trip to Scotland in 2004.
Brooks, 40, said in a statement: “I am beyond excited to be slipping back into Janine’s shoes and returning to the square. The time feels right and I can’t wait to find out what she’s been up to for the last seven years!
“She is and always has been SO much fun to play. Feels a bit like coming home. It’s good to be back.”
On her Instagram page, Brooks said there is “so much in store” for her character.
EastEnders executive producer Jon Sen described Janine as “one of EastEnders’ most iconic characters who is loved, and often despised, in equal measure by viewers and all those in Walford”.
He continued: “Charlie’s portrayal of Janine over the years has created some of EastEnders’ most memorable moments and we are all really excited to see Charlie bring her incredible portrayal of Janine back again.
“We have lots of drama in store for Janine – in fact it may be wise for some of the residents of Walford to invest in some slip-on shoes…”
Brooks joined EastEnders in 1999 and played Janine until 2004. She returned four years later, with her last spell ending in 2014.
She took part in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2012 and was crowned queen of the jungle.