Charlie Brooks to take break from EastEnders

Charlie Brooks is set to take a six-month break from EastEnders.

The 30-year-old, who plays pregnant villainess Janine Butcher on the BBC soap, will wave farewell to Walford in August, after giving birth on the small screen.

“I’ve got six months off in August, so we’re having the bump, but I won’t have to deal with prams and stuff in extra small doors on the set,” she told The Sun.

There are rumours that the actress – who left the soap in 2004 and returned in 2008 – is planning to compete on the next series of Strictly Come Dancing, following her triumph on the Christmas special.

Charlie previously admitted: “It would be fantastic to do the whole show, but EastEnders is a six days a week job. I’ve seen how difficult it is to juggle both, but it would be an amazing opportunity.”

An EastEnders spokeswoman confirmed that the star would be off screens for a short while, but didn’t comment on the Strictly reports.

“Charlie will be taking a break from EastEnders later this year. Over the coming months, there will be a lot of unexpected twists and turns, and the story is bound to be explosive,” she said.