EastEnders' Charlie Brooks jokes about being 'typecast' in creepy new role

The Janine Butcher star is playing the Child Catcher in a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: Charlie Brooks attends The TRIC Awards 2021 at 8 Northumberland Avenue on September 15, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
Charlie Brooks will be in a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. (WireImage)

What did you miss?

EastEnders star Charlie Brooks has joked that she’s been typecast after bagging the role of the Child Catcher in a production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

The actor is best known for portraying Albert Square villain Janine Butcher in the BBC soap, a role she’s played on and off since 1999. But she is now set to star as the creepy Child Catcher in a touring stage version of the 1968 film.

Speaking on The One Show on Monday (April 8), Brooks said it was going to be “really fun” but joked about Janine and the Child Catcher being alike.

What, how, and why?

Host Jermaine Jenas had pointed out that the actor was taking on a “scary” part, and she laughed: “Not dissimilar really! Bit of typecasting going on here,” she added.

Robert Helpmann as the Child Catcher. (PA Images/Alamy)

Brooks went on: “I think I will be the first woman to play the Child Catcher so when I spoke to the director about it I was like, ‘This sounds really exciting. I think it’s a genius idea.’

“I don’t quite know what it’s going to be yet because I have only just come into rehearsals and it’s like I’ve got… the way I think of it, it’s like a block of clay and you start sort of making shapes out of it and I’ve just started chipping away so who knows, we are in exploration mode, but yes, it is going to be really fun.”

Brooks – who was on the BBC programme along with her Chitty Chitty Bang Bang co-star Adam Garcia – said she’d had a peek at her costume. “It’s wicked,” she said. “It’s so fun.”

EastEnders,19-08-2022,6541,EastEnders|Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS),**EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 9TH AUGUST 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Charlie Brooks as Janine Butcher. (BBC)

The star also shared that she will have to sing in the production, which will be a first for her. “God help me and God help the audience,” she quipped.

“Do you know what? I got thrown straight in the deep end on Thursday and went straight in and had an hour’s singing session and the musical director was so supportive and brilliant. I am so terrified about it, but I just had the most fun in that hour. I was like, ‘Oh my God you are going to have to hold me back!’”

What else did Charlie Brooks say?

Charlie Brooks sings in the production. (BBC screengrab)
Charlie Brooks sings in the production. (BBC screengrab)

Brooks also said she thinks the show is “full of joy” and that it is needed right now.

“I’ve only just started rehearsals and from what I’ve seen it’s super fun, we’ve got the car and everything,” she said. “I recently watched the film and it’s such a trip back to being a little girl, you know, and how I felt when I watched that. It was really bizarre actually.

“I think the world needs a bit of joy in their life at the moment and I think that’s what this production is definitely going to give people.”

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