EastEnders Janine star Charlie Brooks set to leave soap again after 18 months

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EastEnders legend Charlie Brooks is leaving her role as Janine Butcher.

The 41-year-actress has played the role of the iconic soap villain on and off since 1999.

She made an epic return as Janine but she'll be leaving Albert Square in the New Year.

READ MORE: Sid Owen returns to EastEnders 10 years after Ricky exit as he reunites with Sam Mitchell

Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, Charlie said: "I was only ever due back to EastEnders for a year, but when Chris Clenshaw presented me with his idea for the story, I couldn’t say no to staying a little longer.

"I’ve had an amazing time, as I always do when I go back."

"But as always with Janine, she probably should not outstay her welcome — for everyone’s sake."

It comes just weeks after bosses confirmed Sid Owen is returning to Walford to play Janine's brother Ricky Butcher once again.

On making his soap comeback, Sid Owen said that he was "delighted to be back at EastEnders".

He said: "I can’t wait to see what Ricky Butcher has been up to these past few years and how he’s going to react to seeing some familiar faces including old flames. I’m excited to see the drama unfold."

Fans will no doubt be over the moon to hear about the return of Ricky Butcher later this year, and after more than 10 years since his last appearance – it's really no wonder.

When he arrives back on Albert Square, Ricky will come face-to-face with his ex-wife Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalfe), as well as being reunited with his sister Janine.

Bosses have reportedly pulled out all the stops to make sure Janine’s exit is a corker.

Janine's partner Mick Carter, played by Danny Dyer, will also be leaving Albert Square in coming months.

Viewers saw Janine discover she is pregnant by Mick in recent scenes.

It came just as his estranged wife Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) declared her love for him.

Charlie first appeared in EastEnders as Janine back in 1999.

The evil character famously killed husband Barry Evans (Shaun Williamson) back in 2004 by pushing him off a cliff.

Away from the soap, Charlie won I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2012 and appeared in Channel 5 drama Lie With Me.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday on BBC One at 7.30pm

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