EastEnders villain Janine Butcher returning after seven years as part of 'explosive storyline'

22 April 2021, 07:08 | Updated: 22 April 2021, 08:16

Janine Butcher is returning to EastEnders
Janine Butcher is returning to EastEnders. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Charlie Brooks is returning to EastEnders as super villain Janine Butcher.

Lock up your husbands, because EastEnders’ icon Janine Butcher is reportedly returning to the soap later this year. 

According to The Sun, the super villain - who is played by actress Charlie Brooks - will make her comeback as part of a ‘huge story’ later this year.

A source told the publication: “Bosses have a huge story planned for Charlie’s return.

“They are keeping tight-lipped about whether Janine will come back as a reformed character after all the chaos she has caused in the past.

Janine Butchers will make her EastEnders comeback this year
Janine Butchers will make her EastEnders comeback this year. Picture: BBC

“But she certainly has a lot of history in Albert Square so whether she will be welcomed back with open arms or not remains to be seen.

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“One thing the viewers can be sure about is that it is bound to be explosive. Wherever Janine goes, drama is never far behind.”

Janine made her debut on the Square in 1989, originally played by Rebecca Michael, before Alexia Demetriou took over in 1993. 

Charlie was the third actress to play Janine in 1999 and was a regular cast member until she left Walford seven years ago.

The character was part of some memorable storylines during her time in Walford, including her marriage to Barry Evans (Shaun Williamson). 

After marrying him on New Year's Eve 2003, their marriage only lasted a day and Janine ended up pushing her husband off a cliff in Scotland in order to inherit his money.

Janine was married another three times, with two other husbands dying. 

While businessman David died of a heart attack at their wedding ceremony, she then married Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott).

This didn’t exactly end well when he started having an affair with Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner) and Janine tried to kill him and frame Stacey. 

She then went on to marry Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) who she ended up murdering as well, but got away with it after being found not guilty.

After leaving for Paris in 2014, Janine was briefly mentioned again in December 2019 when she sold her house to Kheerat Panesar, leaving the Slaters homeless.

Actress Charlie is yet to comment on the rumours, but said in 2019 she had no plans to return to the soap. 

She said at the time: "I don't have plans to go back. 

"I've been doing so much theatre. I am so lucky to get these challenging characters."

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