Charlie Brooks: ‘Janine is back, all guns blazing’

Charlie Brooks tells Soaplife that Janine’s return is going to blow Michael’s world apart in EastEnders!

Janine’s back and, as always, there’s gonna be trouble. “If anything, she’s more manipulative than ever,” Charlie tells Soaplife. “To get her baby daughter Scarlett back she plans on getting people like Billy on side against Michael. That’s going to be tough… but Janine is tough.” And, as Michael will find, ruthless…

So where has Janine been?
“She’s been travelling around the world. She’s been in Europe and she went to Brazil for a while. She’s been ‘finding herself’. I wanted her to return as a meditating hippy, but she comes back all guns blazing. She wants Scarlett back.”

Why did she leave her daughter?
“She was driven away. Michael wasn’t giving her any support and she was suspicious that he only wanted her for her money – that’s why she left him penniless. Janine wasn’t diagnosed with post-natal depression, but I think she was suffering from it. She really struggled and didn’t bond with Scarlett because she was in an incubator for a long time. Janine was in a place where she couldn’t cope and she didn’t think she was capable of looking after her baby.”

And how does she cope when she finds Kat and Michael about to have dinner together?
“Janine has no idea what’s been happening with Michael and Scarlett since she left, but she’s not happy to see Kat with him playing happy families. As for Michael, well, he’s shocked to see her – as Janine knew he would be. It’s really only Scarlett she wants, though. Janine’s better now and thinking clearly. She’s still not particularly maternal, but maybe that will come when she’s spent time with Scarlett.”

She can’t expect Michael to just hand the baby over…
“She doesn’t. She knows she’ll have a fight on her hands, but she’s ready. She tells Michael he’ll be hearing from her solicitor. She plans to fight for custody on the grounds that she was ill and had also been subject to Michael’s abuse. Janine’s ready for a fight, she’s still loaded and she has the money to see it through. Michael hasn’t.”

Does Janine even consider it will be cruel to Scarlett to take her away from her daddy?
“I don’t know if Janine’s even considered this aspect of it. If anything, she’s probably jealous of the connection Scarlett has with Michael because she never had one with her own dad. Janine’s OK about Michael still seeing Scarlett, but she wants control and to also make things as difficult as possible for him.”

Would she be capable of snatching Scarlett?
“Janine is capable of anything! She thrives on conflict and danger.”