‘Bring on Line of Duty!’ says former EastEnders star Charlie Brooks

Charlie Brooks chats about her love for Line of Duty, her new stage comedy role… and a possible return to Albert Square!

Charlie Brooks played bad girl Janine Butcher in EastEnders; now she’d like to play a bad cop in Line of Duty, the super-successful BBC police drama series.

“I’d so love to be in that show,” Charlie told Soaplife. “I can really see myself playing a bent copper in it. I’d also love to do a gritty drama based on a real-life character – something where I get to shave my head or similar! I think I’d be quite good at that.”

In the meantime, Charlie’s about to tour the country for three months in the comedy, How the Other Half Loves

What is How the Other Half Loves about?
“It’s a comedy by playwright Alan Ayckbourn about three couples who work and socialise together… But all is not as it seems!”

Who do you play?
“A character called Teresa Phillips. She and her husband, Bob, have recently had their first child and she feels like she’s being neglected. Teresa is a strong, feisty and independent woman, but she feels a bit lost – the way many women do when they’ve had a baby. She’s also suspicious of Bob – and she’s right to be, too!”

Are you looking forward to the tour?
“I am. This will be only my second theatre tour and I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. When you’re part of a theatre company, it’s like you all become a real family. Playing to a live audience every night is terrifying, but it’s also exhilarating and exciting. I love being able to develop a character and play her slightly differently every performance as I slowly get to know her better. I find it nourishing and I learn a lot.”

Do you think you’ll get homesick while touring?
“Yes, I’ll get homesick and I’ll really miss my daughter, Kiki, who’s 12. But I have a great support system at home so I know she’s in safe hands. I’ll also get home as often as I can and it’s only for a few months.”

Hasn’t Kiki done a little bit of acting work herself?
“Yeah, she’s done a bit. If she asks for my advice, I give it to her. But she’s very much her own person and she wants to make her own way and I admire that. I don’t know if she wants to act as a career, though. She’s just trying to work it out for herself at the moment.”

Do you enjoy the freedom that comes with not being in a soap?
“Very much. It was the reason I left EastEnders. It was my plan that I would do more theatre and I have. It’s great to have the freedom to do other stuff.”

Does this mean you’ll never go back to Albert Square?
“I’m not saying that! But it’s not in my immediate plans. Never say never – I’ll say that! I love Janine, but I have to fight to leave her behind. It’s a constant battle to get people to see beyond her.”

What do you think about John Yorke being back in charge at EastEnders?
“It’s brilliant! John’s a genius at what he does. I was there during his earlier ‘reign’ and Janine was his baby, really. He invested in her storylines.”

What kind of storyline might bring Janine back to Walford?
“Hmm, I don’t know. But I do wonder about what the writers and storyliners could do with her. She’s done so much, so where would she go next? What might pull her back to Albert Square? She’s supposedly living in France with her sister, Diane, at the moment.”

You’ve mentioned Line of Duty and gritty real-life dramas… Would you also like to do a costume drama?
“I’d be 100 per cent up for that. But I have a feeling that I’d be cast downstairs rather than upstairs. I’d also like to do some comedy on TV. I’ve done some on stage, but not on the telly. Yes, I’d love that.”

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