EastEnders star Charlie Brooks hints ruthless Janine could return as exit looms

EastEnders,13-12-2022,6607,Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS);Kathy Beale (GILLIAN TAYLFORTH),****EMBARGOED TILL SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Janine is set for an explosive EastEnders exit. (BBC)

Another explosive EastEnders exit is on the way for scheming Janine Butcher, but star Charlie Brooks is already teasing that she could be back one day.

Her latest storyline has seen her use underhanded tactics to secure an engagement to Queen Vic landlord Mick Carter (Danny Dyer), who has no idea of the vicious lengths Janine has gone to in order to win him over.

She’s made it her mission to destroy Mick’s ex-wife, Linda (Kellie Bright), and it led to the soulmates being torn apart. But viewers know that Mick still loves Linda, and his heart isn’t truly with pregnant Janine.

Read more: EastEnders: Linda Carter’s iconic take-down of Janine Butcher was soap at its best

With Mick due to be written out around the same time, Janine’s final scenes have now been confirmed to air on Boxing Day.

Speaking about what could become of her character, Brooks says: “I always say, ‘Never say never’. EastEnders is home to me, and I've had a fantastic time, so I'd be open to a return for sure.”

EastEnders,15-12-2022,6609,Mick Carter (DANNY DYER);Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS),***EMBARGOED TILL SATURDAY 3RD DECEMBER 2022***, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Janine has fooled Mick with trickery and lies. (BBC)

Asked about her decision to step away from her alter ego once more, the actor adds: “I've had the best year and a half getting back into Janine's shoes.

“She's so fun to play, but I also love playing all the vulnerable stuff with Janine as well. I'm an actress, so I want to do everything. But, yeah, it is hard.

Brooks reveals that she wanted to bow out before Janine’s antics exhausted the character. “I also feel like if she was to stay in the show, the character might not be as strong somehow.

LONDON - SEPTEMBER 21: Shaun Williamson (L) and Charlie Brooks (R) fight during filming of Eastenders footage for the Christmas and New Year special shows, September 21 2003, in Argyll, Scotland. (Photo by Rod Johnson/Getty Images)
Shaun Williamson and Charlie Brooks fight during filming of Eastenders footage for the Christmas and new year special shows in 2003. (Getty Images)

“I wouldn't want her to be diluted because she is so full-on, she's so dramatic, but I always feel like there's more to know, which is a really good place to be with a character. If something feels quite layered, quite complex, it always stays interesting and luckily for me, Janine has remained that way.”

Read more: EastEnders spoilers: Shock arrival at Dot’s funeral, Lauren and Mary the punk return

Viewers will have to wait a little longer to find out if and how Janine’s lies will be exposed. But Brooks tells us that, contrary to her character’s rivalry with Linda, she and co-star Bright get on brilliantly; and she’s loved working with Dyer too.

EastEnders,21-11-2022,6594,EastEnders|Mick Carter (DANNY DYER);EastEnders|Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS),***EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 15TH NOVEMBER 2022*** , BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
How will pregnant Janine bow out? (BBC)

“The two of us and Kellie have laughed and laughed over the last year and a half. It's been fantastic. We've all just enjoyed working together so much. It's been fun.

“I think we have brought out different sides of each other's characters, and that’s kept it interesting for all of us. That's been really fun to play with.”

EastEnders,30-11-2022,6600,Janine Butcher (CHARLIE BROOKS),****EMBARGOED TILL TUESDAY 22ND NOVEMBER 2022****, BBC, Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron
Brooks loves that her alter ego is so layered and complex. (BBC)

Pondering whether she thinks Janine should get her man, she acknowledges that fans are firmly against this outcome. “I want to see them run off into the sunset together, but I think the audience might hate me if they do!”

Read more: EastEnders icon Dot Branning’s most underrated moments

“I like the idea that Janine brings out a different side in Mick, sometimes a little bit of a darker side, because he has been walked over by Linda. Janine is one of those chaotic, crazy, slightly infectious, both in a good and bad way, people. And I've loved playing that part of their relationship as well.”

EastEnders airs Janine's final scenes on Boxing Day.

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