'EastEnders' ICON Charlie Brooks to return to the soap as Janine Butcher

Charlie Brooks returns to EastEnders as Janine Butcher.
After weeks of speculation, Charlie Brooks is returning to EastEnders. (Image credit: BBC)

Following weeks of press speculation, EastEnders bosses have confirmed that Janine Butcher will make a return to the soap.

The scheming businesswoman, played by Charlie Brooks, will arrive in Walford later in the Summer, and will be joined by her now nine year old daughter, Scarlett; the product of Janine’s relationship with Michael Moon. 

“I am beyond excited to be slipping back into Janine’s shoes and returning to the square,” says 40 year old Charlie.

“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. It feels a bit like coming home. It’s good to be back!”

An EastEnders icon

Janine was first introduced to viewers back in 1989. The youngest daughter of Frank Butcher, she was initially played by Rebecca Michael. 

Alexia Demetriou took over the role in 1993 and continued playing her for the following three years, but it wasn’t until Brooks was cast in 1999 that the character really took off.

The infamous Janine went on to be at the centre of some of EastEnders most iconic storylines. She memorably pushed husband Barry off a cliff to his death on New Year’s Day 2004, and saw off another husband, Michael Moon, in 2013; stabbing him in the back after a custody battle for Scarlett reached a dramatic and bloody climax.

Charlie Brooks returns to EastEnders as Janine Butcher.

Charlie Brooks has said she is delighted to be back in EastEnders after a seven year break.  (Image credit: BBC)

She was last on screens in 2014, about to board a Eurostar train to Paris, after being found not guilty of Michael’s murder.

Janine was heading to the French capital to collect Scarlett from her sister Diane’s house, but her final moments showed her intrigued to meet a couple who had just won the lottery; suggesting Janine may try to con the duo out of their winnings. 

Says EastEnders’ executive producer Jon Sen, “Janine is one of EastEnders’ most iconic characters, who is loved and often despised in equal measure by viewers and those in Walford. 

“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…”

EastEnders usually airs Mondays at 8.05pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.35pm and Fridays at 8.30pm on BBC One, however schedules have changed because of the football. 

This week EastEnders airs on Tuesday and Wednesday (see our TV Guide for full listings) and you can also watch all episodes on BBC iPlayer now. 

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.