EastEnders star Charlie Brooks has revealed she will be leaving the show for the third time in 2014.
The 32-year-old teased that her alter-ego Janine Butcher would not be killed off, hinting that the door would be left open for a future return on the BBC soap.
She told the Daily Mirror: “I decided a while ago it was time for me to leave Janine behind.”
The mother-of-one added: “Janine still has a way to go yet and is never far from Walford. It may be more see you later than goodbye.”
Charlie, who was crowned queen of the jungle after triumphing in ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2012, said she would like to explore other career opportunities. She will also appear on the spin-off of the jungle show in November.
EastEnders viewers have seen Janine’s estranged husband Michael Moon (Steve John Shepherd) plotting to kill her with help from Alice Branning (Jasmyn Banks), and the storyline will reach its climax this week, with a final showdown between all three characters leading to a death at Halloween.
An EastEnders source teased: “Charlie is involved in a massive storyline at the moment that just gets bigger and bigger.”
The actress admitted she was ‘gutted’ to hand in her notice, with the arrival of EastEnders’ new executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins.
“When I found out he was returning, I was gutted. I know how fantastic he is and that he will be putting the show back to its rightful place,” she said.
Charlie, who has played Janine since 1999, first quit in 2004, before returning in 2008. She remained until 2012, when she took an extended break to travel the world with her daughter Kiki, and participate in I’m A Celebrity.