Charlie Brooks

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Charlie Brooks
Charlie Brooks (2011).jpg
Brooks at the 2011 British Soap Awards
Charlene Emma Brooks

(1981-05-03) 3 May 1981 (age 38)[1]
Other namesCharlene Brooks
Years active1997–present
Home townBarmouth, Wales
TelevisionEastEnders (1999–2014)
Partner(s)Tony Truman (2004–05)
Ben Hollington (2012)

Charlene Emma Brooks (born 3 May 1981)[2] is a British actress and model, known for playing Janine Butcher in the BBC soap opera EastEnders,[3] and Tamora in the controversial play All in a Row by Alex Oates. Brooks’s portrayal of Janine has awarded Brooks with numerous awards, since her first appearance in 1999, with storylines involving cocaine addiction, prostitution and murder.[3] Brooks has appeared in British television shows; The Bill, Wired and Bleak House.[3] Brooks released a fitness DVD, "Before And After Workout", before winning the 2011 version of the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special and the twelfth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here![4].

Early life[edit]

Brooks was born in 1981, in Ware, Hertfordshire, England, and moved to Barmouth, Wales when she was a child.[5] Brooks attended Tower House School, in Barmouth, and relocated to London to attend Ravenscourt Theatre School.[5]


1999-2003: EastEnders[edit]

In television, Brooks has appeared in episodes of The Bill, London's Burning, Jonathan Creek and The Demon Headmaster.[5][6] When executive producer Matthew Robinson re-introduced Janine in 1999, after Alexia Demetriou left, Brooks secured the role.[3][7]

Brooks, at the National Television Awards, in 2012.

2004-2007: Departure from EastEnders and other acting[edit]

After her departure from EastEnders in 2004, Brooks first role was in the BBC drama Bleak House as Jenny. Brooks has done various commercials and voiceovers in the United Kingdom, Europe and the US.[3]

In 2006, Brooks played Beverley Allitt in a BBC1 docu-drama called Beverley Allitt: Angel of Death, alongside Ian Kelsey. Producer Cathy Elliot said, "It's a very sensitive issue and of course it's terrible for the parents to have the whole thing brought up. Each time it's brought up it's painful, but a lot of parents realise it's important it's kept in the public domain and that people are aware that things have happened and that not a lot has been done since".[8]

She has guest starred in Robin Hood and Love Soup.[9] In theatre, Brooks, whilst on a break from EastEnders in 2003, appeared in the play Office Games alongside Adam Rickitt.[10] The play was Brooks' west end debut, and was described as "a witty and intelligent political commentary".[10] In 2007 she appeared in Our Country's Good at the Liverpool Playhouse.[11]

2008–2014: Return to EastEnders[edit]

In 2008, Brooks returned to EastEnders for a guest stint. She was later confirmed to be coming back as a regular character.[12] She said, "I had doubts to begin with, mainly because of Kiki, as I know how full-on EastEnders can be, and then there's that stigma about going back to a soap. But I'm so pleased I did, it was the right decision. Especially with what's going on at the moment, I feel really lucky to have a job and I need the security because of Kiki. I was just going to go back for a year, but I had a meeting with the boss last week and we're going to go for another year. So lots more time to get up to much mischief".[13] Executive producer Diederick Santer said, "I couldn't be more pleased that Charlie Brooks is re-joining EastEnders. With her appearances last month, she reminded us what a fine actress she is, and what an intriguing, watchable and engaging character she plays as Janine".[12] She temporarily departed in September 2012, and returned in April 2013 before departing again in March 2014.

2019: All in a Row[edit]

In January 2019 it was announced that Alex Oates's play All in a Row, starring Charlie Brooks as Tamora, the mother, was going to be produced by Paul Virides Productions at the Southwark Playhouse.[14] The play is based on Alex's ten years of experience caring for severely autistic children and adults and won the Top Five Play Reading at the Bolton Octagon.[15] The play is about the parents of a profoundly autistic eleven year old boy and how they're feeling the night before he is taken to a residential school because social services feel he needs more support than can be given in their family home.[16]

Criticisms of the play started to emerge when a video trailer for the production was released showing the autistic character, Laurence, portrayed by a puppet, with Frances Ryan, without seeing it, criticising the play by calling it a "grotesque step backwards".[17] The National Autistic Society who initially decided to help the production by providing consultation reacted to the twitter furore by releasing a statement saying "while recognising some of the play’s strengths, we decided we could not support the play overall due to its portrayal of autism, particularly the use of a puppet to depict the autistic character alone.”[18] Brooks responded by saying that “I understand people’s concerns, but I do urge people to come and see the play first before they judge.” She also claimed that having a puppet character is essential and that Laurence, the puppet, is very playful. During rehearsals Brooks visited the Queensmill School for autistic children in Shepherd’s Bush and talked to the pupils there, their teachers and their carers. Brooks concluded by stating "This is a story that is rarely told. I just hope people will come and see it instead of sitting at home getting angry.”[19]

Other ventures[edit]

Reality television[edit]

She won I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2012, beating campmate Ashley Roberts.[4] Brooks was "visibly delighted" saying, "[It feels] silly. I never imagined this for a million years. Everyone's been amazing".[4] Brooks also narrates Botched Up Bodies on Channel 5.

Fitness DVD[edit]

Her fitness DVD became the UK's best-selling fitness DVD release, and Brooks was transformed from "podgy Janine to a sexy new mum".[20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2000 National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer Nominated
British Soap Awards Best Newcomer Nominated
2001 Inside Soap Awards Best Bitch Won
2002 Nominated
2003 Nominated
2004 National Television Awards Most Popular Actress Nominated
TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress Won
Best Soap Storyline Nominated
British Soap Awards Soap Bitch of the Year Nominated
Villain of the Year Won
Inside Soap Awards Best Bitch Won
Best Actress Nominated
Best Soap Storyline Nominated
2005 British Soap Awards Best Exit Won
2009 All About Soap Awards Best Bitch Won
Inside Soap Awards Won
End of Year EastEnders Awards Won
2010 All About Soap Awards Femme Fatale Won
Digital Spy Soap Awards Best Soap Bitch Won
All About Soap Bubble Awards Best Soap Love Triangle
(Shared with Lacey Turner and Neil McDermott)
2011 British Soap Awards Villain of the Year Nominated
TV Times Awards TV's Most Popular Bitch Won
2012 TVChoice Awards Best Soap Actress Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Soap Bitch of the Year Won
DS Awards DS Female Soap Actor Won
2013 TVChoice Awards Best Soap Actress Nominated
Inside Soap Awards Soap Bitch of the Year Nominated
2014 British Soap Awards Villain of the Year Nominated
British Soap Awards Best Storyline - Hello Stacey, Goodbye Janine Nominated


Television and Film
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Turning Points Emma 1 episode
The Demon Headmaster The Brains
The Bill Miriam Olston
Out of Tune Carol
1999–2004, 2008–2014 EastEnders Janine Butcher Regular cast member
918 episodes
1999 The Bill Claire Fellows 1 episode
Jonathan Creek Trudi
2000 London's Burning Lisa
2005 Angel of Death: The Beverly Allitt Story Beverley Allitt
The Golden Hour Cara Wilson
Bleak House Jenny 5 episodes
2006 Take 3 Girls Patsy 1 episode
Casualty Sally Montgomery
2007 Heartbeat Julie Langley-Smythe
Robin Hood Ceris
2008 Love Soup Denise
Wired Anna 3 episodes
2010 EastEnders: Last Tango in Walford Janine Butcher DVD release
2011 EastEnders: E20 Janine Malloy 3 episodes
Strictly Come Dancing (Christmas Special) Herself (Participant) Winner
2012 Celebrity Juice 1 episode
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here Winner
2013, 2014 Botched Up Bodies Narrator
2014 Suspects Tanya 2 episodes
2015 The Dumping Ground Stephanie Branston 1 episode
2016 The Chase: Celebrity Special Herself (participant) Didn't appear in the final chase
2017 FOG Rachel short film
2018 Moving On Tina 1 episode (series 9, episode 4)
Theatre and Radio
Year Title Role
2003 Office Games Rose Brown
2004 The Play What I Wrote Rose
2005–06 Dixon of Dock Green Mary Dixon
2006 Dangerous Corner Betty
2007 Our Country's Good Dabby Bryant
2013 Dusty Won't Play Dusty Springfield
2014 Beautiful Thing Sandra Gangel
2015 A Street Car Named Desire Blanche
2017 How the Other Half Loves Teresa
2019 All in a Row Tamora


  1. ^ "Charlie Brooks on twitter: thank you x". 3 May 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  2. ^ "England & Wales births 1837-2006 Transcription". Retrieved 30 September 2015 – via Find My Past.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Janine Butcher played by Charlie Brooks". BBC. BBC Online. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Bell, Amy (1 December 2012). "Charlie Brooks wins 'I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Charlie Brooks - Played the scheming Janine Butcher in Eastenders". BBC. BBC Online. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  6. ^ "Charlie Brooks - Spotlight Actresses 2012/2013". Spotlight. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  7. ^ Lock, Kate (2000). EastEnders Who's Who. BBC Books. ISBN 0-563-55178-X.
  8. ^ "BBC film revives spectre of Allitt". The Grantham Journal. Johnston Press. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2012.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Robin Hood (Series 2 - 10. Walkabout)". Radio Times. Exponent. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  10. ^ a b Nelson, Paul. "Playing office games is not such a civil service". IndieLondon. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  11. ^ Key, Phillip (7 February 2007). "Convicts prove the power of theatre; Theatre Our Country's Good/ Liverpool Playhouse Philip Key ponders a play about real events and characters". Liverpool Daily Post. Trinity Mirror. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  12. ^ a b Green, Kris (2 May 2008). "Janine to make regular 'Enders return". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  13. ^ Green, Kris (29 March 2008). "Charlie Brooks for full-time 'Enders return?". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi Médias. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  14. ^ "All in a Row". Southwark Playhouse Official Website. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Top 5 scripts chosen out of 800 entries for theatre stage". The Bolton News. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  16. ^ "World Update". BBC Sounds (Podcast). BBC. 2019-02-11. Event occurs at 16:57. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  17. ^ "Casting a puppet as an autistic child is a grotesque step backwards". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  18. ^ "Critics say new play that uses a puppet to portray an autistic boy 'dehumanises' those with the condition". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  19. ^ Allfree, Claire (19 February 2019). "See our autism play before you judge, urges actress Charlie Brooks". Evening Standard. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  20. ^ "Charlie Brooks". Hello!. Eduardo Sánchez Junco. Retrieved 18 November 2012.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Dougie Poynter
I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Winner & Queen of the Jungle

Succeeded by
Kian Egan