EastEnders star Charlie Brooks looks unrecognisable with new hairdo after quitting soap

Eastenders actor Charlie Brooks stunned fans on Wednesday as she shared a shot of her new hair-do ahead of her National Theatre debut.

Charlie, who has appeared on and off as Janine Butcher in the BBC soap since 1999, shared a picture on her Instagram story that shows her having a wig installed.

The shot shows Charlie, 41, beaming as hair stylist Giuseppe Cannas fiddles with the lace front platinum wig.

“Giuseppecannas_wigshairmakeup,” she captioned the post.

Charlie’s transformation is for her upcoming role in the National Theatre’s production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

The play, which has been adapted by Joel Horwood, will be directed by Katy Rudd and promises a spell-binding experience.

The plot reads: “Returning to his childhood home, a man finds himself standing beside the pond of the old Sussex farmhouse where he used to play. He's transported to his 12th birthday when his remarkable friend Lettie claimed it wasn't a pond, but an ocean – a place where everything is possible… Plunged into a magical world, their survival depends on their ability to reckon with ancient forces that threaten to destroy everything around them.”

Charlie, who also won I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here against the likes of Ashley Roberts and Helen Flanagan, will join the show as a character called Ursula, the supernatural antagonist of the play that transforms herself into a variety of nasty creatures.

The show will tour 29 locations in the UK from 12 December 2022 until 30 September 2023.

This comes after Charlie revealed she would be stepping away from Walford once again when her contract comes to an end.

Charlie first joined the soap in 1999 before exiting in 2004 following the murder of Barry Evans, played by Shaun Williamson.

Charlie later returned in 2008 for a six-year stint before leaving again in 2014 to con a couple out of their lottery winnings.

In 2021, Janine returned to Walford once again in the hopes of getting custody of her daughter.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun, Charlie said that she was initially only returning to the soap for a year.

“I was only ever due back to EastEnders for a year, but when [exec producer] Chris Clenshaw presented me with his idea for the story, I couldn’t say no to staying a little longer,” she said.

“I’ve had an amazing time, as I always do when I go back.

“But as always with Janine, she probably should not outstay her welcome — for everyone’s sake,” she added.

Janine’s exit is expected sometime in the new year.


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