Monday 10 December 2018

Michelle Fowler axed from Eastenders just one year after returning to the soap

Michelle Fowler, played by Jenna Russell, in Eastenders
Michelle Fowler, played by Jenna Russell, in Eastenders

EastEnders' Michelle Fowler will be axed from the show.

The veteran character - who is played by Jenna Russell - will be written out of the BBC One soap after returning to Albert Square in December 2016 following 21 years away from Walford.

A source said: "Bringing back an old character always adds much needed nostalgia which fans love.

"But Michelle simply wasn't going anywhere and was deemed a bit of spare part."

Michelle was originally portrayed by Susan Tully from 1985 to 1995 but Jenna was cast in the role when the former 'Grange Hill' star turned down the chance to re-join the show.

The source added to The Sun newspaper: "Jenna is an established actress in her own right and wouldn't want to be on the periphery.

"She won't have any problems finding other work."

Despite Jenna's impending departure, she is said to have agreed with show boss John Yorke about writing Michelle out of the soap.

An 'EastEnders' spokeswoman said: "Jenna is a terrific actress who has loved her time on the show playing Michelle but it was a mutual decision to write the character out.

"We wish Jenna all the best for the future."

Michelle was re-introduced to the soap by former boss Sean O'Connor, who previously admitted he approached Susan - who has helmed episodes of 'Silent Witness' and 'Secret Diary of a Call Girl' - about reprising her role.

Speaking in 2016, he added: "Of course if you're considering bringing back Michelle Fowler you'd have to consider talking to Susan Tully about it.

"But she is now a well-respected, hugely experienced TV director. Her acting career is part of her past, really a closed door for her.

"But of course I contacted her immediately when I thought about bringing the character back.

"It was important to me to make sure Susan gave the idea her blessing and it was really delightful when she did."

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