|Played by|| Rebecca Michael (1989–93)|
Alexia Demetriou (1993–96)
Charlie Brooks (1999—)
|Introducer|| Mike Gibbon (1989)|
Matthew Robinson (1999)
Diederick Santer (2008)
|Duration|| 1989–96, 1999–2004, |
|Arrival||22 June 1989|
|Date of birth||30 October 1983|
|Home||27 Albert Square|
|Occupation|| Prostitute (2000–03)|
Estate agent (2000–02)
Barmaid (2003–04, 2010)
Car saleswoman (2009)
Personal assistant (2009)
Janine Butcher (previously Evans and Malloy) is character from EastEnders, currently portrayed by Charlie Brooks. Rebecca Michael originally portrayed the character from 1989 until 1993, when the role was given to Alexia Demetriou for three years. Brooks took on the role in 1999. After a three episode guest stint in April 2008 which saw the character reappear for her father Frank's funeral, Brooks agreed to reprise her role full-time, returning permanently in December 2008. Janine's storylines typically involve her in an antagonistic role; the character has been described as a "super-bitch" and a "classic villainess". Janine will depart from the show for a six-month break in 2012.
Janine's mother, June, died of cancer when Janine was four years old, and she went to live with her sister Clare. Her father Frank (Mike Reid) moved to Walford with her older siblings Ricky (Sid Owen) and Diane (Sophie Lawrence) and married Pat Wicks (Pam St. Clement). Clare moved to Manchester in 1989, leaving Janine with Pat and Frank.
A troublesome child, Janine throws tantrums, runs away, is a bed-wetter, a sleepwalker, a thief, a compulsive liar and self-harmer, and hates Pat. Unable to discipline her, Pat forces Frank to take Janine to family therapy, which helps somewhat. When Frank has a breakdown and disappears in 1994, Janine stays with Pat but finds her father's absence upsetting. She is overjoyed at Frank's return and decides to move to Manchester with him in 1996. However, Frank returns to Walford in 1998, leaving Janine with Clare again.
Janine returns in 1999 to live with Frank and his new wife, Peggy (Barbara Windsor). She sets about coming between them, continuously trying to antagonise Frank with rebellious behaviour. She sleeps with Jamie Mitchell (Jack Ryder) to infuriate her father, then humiliates Jamie by spreading rumours about his inadequate prowess in bed. Frank abandons Janine again in 2000 after the breakdown of his marriage to Peggy.
Homeless, Janine is taken in by Terry Raymond (Gavin Richards); they start a business together as estate agents. Terry sees Janine as a surrogate daughter but her constant manipulation tests his patience. Janine uses him for money, purposefully dresses like his deceased daughter Tiffany (Martine McCutcheon), ruins his relationships with women and tries to seduce him. Janine also begins sleeping with Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) until he runs out of money. All of this behaviour infuriates Terry. Janine starts using cocaine, pestering Terry for money to feed her habit. When Terry refuses, she resorts to sleeping with her drug dealer, Lee Vickers, in exchange for cocaine; Vickers beats Terry when he tries to warn him off. Upon seeing Janine's lack of remorse, Terry throws her out and leaves Walford, ignoring her pleas for him to stay.
Owing Vickers money for drugs, Janine turns to prostitution under the pseudonym "Blonde Bombshell". One of her clients, Matt, falls in love and proposes, then attempts suicide upon discovering she is still a prostitute. Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) begins using her services, but she later blackmails him, threatening to tell his wife Laura (Hannah Waterman) unless he gives her money. Depressed, Janine begins drinking heavily, and nearly dies of alcohol poisoning. She gives up prostitution, but when Laura discovers she has been sleeping with Ian, she throws a pan of boiling milk in Janine's face. Janine becomes agoraphobic as a result — she eats dog food because she is too afraid to go out and buy groceries. She eventually gets over this, aided by Billy. Janine hopes to rekindle their relationship but is devastated when he confesses he is in love with Little Mo Slater (Kacey Ainsworth). Her attempts to ruin their blossoming romance fail.
Janine gets a job working at Barry Evans's (Shaun Williamson) car lot. She and Paul Trueman (Gary Beadle) concoct a plan to fleece Barry of his money. She seduces Barry and moves in with him but, unknown to him, she is sleeping with Paul too. Barry eventually proposes to Janine and she accepts, thinking that Barry has a life-threatening heart murmur. They marry on New Year's Eve 2003 in Scotland, but Janine is furious to discover that Barry's illness is a false alarm. Barry forces Janine to take a stroll around the hills and cliffs, but Janine cracks and confesses everything. Barry, refusing to believe that she does not love him, tries to embrace her. Repulsed, Janine pushes him away and he falls down a crevice to his death; Janine watches him die.
Janine inherits Barry's estate, leaving his son, Jack, with nothing. She has Barry cremated in Scotland, denying his friends and family a chance to pay their respects, making Barry's ex-wife Natalie (Lucy Speed) suspicious. Natalie grows close to Paul Trueman, who is wracked with guilt about his role in Barry's demise. Spurred on by Natalie, Paul eventually goes to the police implicating Janine. She is arrested but released, due to lack of evidence. She takes pleasure in telling Natalie that she has got away with murder, but telling Pat is her downfall. Pat is also good friends with Laura Beale, who has an on-going feud with Janine. Janine is seen fighting Laura just before Laura accidentally dies after falling down the stairs. Although Janine is with Pat at the time of death, Pat avenges Barry's murder by refusing to give Janine an alibi. In desperation, Janine goes to Paul and offers to sleep with him in return for an alibi, but, shameful about his own role in Barry's death, he throws her out, and she is arrested by police waiting outside. Janine is then charged with Laura's murder and remanded in custody in May 2004.
Janine stands trial off-screen in 2005 and Frank tries to persuade Pat to tell the truth in court, giving Janine an alibi. Pat refuses but a conversation with Laura's mother, who is desperate for the truth, forces Pat to tell the court what really happened. Janine is released but abandons Frank outside the courtroom.
Janine returns for Frank's funeral in April 2008, and is angry to find that he hasn't left her any money in his will; she scatters his ashes before departing. However, in December 2008 Pat and Ricky discover that Janine is masquerading as a Jewish orphan named "Judith Bernstein" in order to marry an elderly Jewish man named David (Harry Towb) for his money. They trace Janine to the synagogue where the wedding is taking place. Just after they are pronounced man and wife, Pat declares Janine a fraud before the congregation. David has a heart attack and dies, and a now homeless Janine has no choice but to return to Walford.
She makes various enemies, among them Jack Branning (Scott Maslen), whom Janine drugs and then restrains in order to gain a taped confession of his past misdemeanours, which she uses as blackmail to gain control of Walford's car lot. Pat and Jack usurp her, reclaiming the business, and in anger Janine speeds off in her car and accidentally hits Danielle Jones (Lauren Crace), killing her. Although Janine is cleared of any wrongdoing by the police, Danielle's mother Ronnie Mitchell (Samantha Womack) cannot forgive her. In retaliation towards this rejection, Janine teams up with Ronnie's ostracised father, Archie (Larry Lamb); they make plans to ruin the Mitchell family by taking The Queen Victoria public house from them. When they manipulate Sam Mitchell (Danniella Westbrook) into breaking her bail terms, the Mitchells lose bail surety and face financial ruin. Ian Beale provides the Mitchells with a loan on the condition they use their pub as collateral. However, Janine has sex with Ian recording the tryst, then blackmails him, threatening to show his wife Jane (Laurie Brett) unless he sells the Mitchell loan to Archie. Archie subsequently takes control of the Vic when the Mitchells are unable to meet the terms of the loan.
Meanwhile, Janine and her flat mate Ryan Malloy (Neil McDermott) - whom Janine is sleeping with - plan to fleece Archie. Archie and Janine announce their engagement but on Christmas Day 2009, Archie - realising that Janine has been intending to con him - throws her out onto the street leaving her distraught. That same day, Archie is murdered by an unknown assailant. Janine becomes one of the suspects for his murder, though she denies it and feigns distress over Archie's death. While she attempts to frame Ian and the Mitchells for the murder, Peggy attempts to frame her, planting evidence in her flat, which leads to an arrest but no charge. In the end, Janine is cleared, as the spotlight shines on other suspects.
When Ryan confesses his love for Janine, she does not respond. It is not until he attempts to leave Walford that she admits her true feelings for him and they begin a legitimate (if twisted) romance. For fun they make a bet: Janine has to kiss Lucas Johnson (Don Gilet) and Ryan has to kiss Stacey Branning (Lacey Turner), and whoever does it first wins. Janine eventually kisses Lucas, much to his surprise. After Ryan kisses Stacey, Janine reveals it was for a bet, leaving Stacey upset. Disgusted by Janine's cruelty, Ryan splits with her. However, they reunite soon after and go on holiday together. When they return, the couple decide to get married. Pat organises a hen party for Janine at R&R nightclub, however Janine argues with Peggy and insults all her guests. She is picked up by a wealthy man named Richard Monroe (Andrew Hall), and they leave the club together as Ryan drunkenly celebrates in the Square. Janine spends the night with Richard, but does not sleep with him. The next day, Janine attends her wedding to Ryan, but stops the service and admits to Ryan about Richard, explaining that she is scared of commitment. Ryan assures her that he is scared too, and the pair marry anyway. They then attend their reception at the Queen Victoria pub. During the reception, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) sets fire to the pub. Janine and Ryan escape safely, but Janine becomes worried when Ryan risks his life to save Stacey. The next day, Janine and Ryan go off on their honeymoon, but unbeknown to Janine, Stacey has told Ryan that he is the father of her baby, Lily. After the honeymoon, Janine jokes that she is pregnant but then says Ryan's sister Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) will never be an aunt, leaving Ryan feeling guilty. Later, Max Branning (Jake Wood) confronts Ryan and reveals to Janine that he is Lily's father. Janine then proceeds to lash out at Stacey and Ryan, as well as demanding a divorce. She changes her mind later and texts Ryan to say she is sorry, but when she sees him leaving Stacey's house, she gets the wrong idea and throws her wedding ring away. She then phones up Social Services and tells him that Stacey has been neglecting her daughter. After Stacey is visited by her social worker, she attacks Janine, pulling her hair, throwing her to the ground, rubbing her face in dirt and punching her. Janine tells Pat she will go to the police but Pat tries to stop her. Pat then tells Ryan who stops her going into the police station and says she cannot get away with it. The next day, Janine assumes Ryan has left her but they later reconcile and agree to forget about the recent events.
However, at a night out, Janine gets in a fight and is arrested along with Stacey, and others. Stacey accidentally reveals that Archie raped her, which shocks Janine as she thought she knew him. They discover that Lily was left with Ryan and after being cautioned and released, he tells them he wants to be a father to her, and they will not stop him. Janine makes sure Stacey does not want him to see Lily but then helps him by getting an application for parental contact. Later, Stacey allows Ryan to see Lily and he asks Janine to play nice with the Slaters but she refuses. On Janine's birthday, Ryan tells her he is getting her a surprise gift but finds out that he is with Stacey, having Lily's birth certificate changed, and Ryan later lies about where he was. They attend a party at the Slaters' house and Janine takes Lily, packs her and Ryan's things and takes Ryan on a trip, saying she wants to celebrate her birthday. Ryan hears Lily in the back of the car and orders Janine to stop but she cannot. They argue and eventually she stops on a level crossing, refusing to start the car until Ryan admits he cares more about Stacey. However, the barriers then lower and Janine is unable to start the car until the last second, and the approaching train closely misses the car. They return to Walford where Stacey has realised that Lily is missing and has called he police. She tells Stacey she heard Lily crying and was looking after her. However, Ryan and Janine argue and later at the reopening of The Queen Victoria, Janine tampers with the beer pumps causing them to spray Stacey and Ryan. When they both go upstairs to change, they kiss. Stacey disappears from Walford, and Janine gains her job behind the bar at The Queen Victoria alongside Ryan. Janine still suspects he has an attachment to Stacey, and when she learns that he is planning to meet with Stacey, she locks him in the pub's kitchen freezer to prevent the meeting. She eventually frees him, and he is grateful to her as he believes the door shut by accident. However, the next day Pat inadvertently reveals to Ryan that Janine deliberately locked him in the freezer. The couple argue, but then reconcile. However Janine is disappointed to learn that Stacey has returned to Walford. Janine then starts suggesting to Ryan that they may want to move away. Whilst working at the pub, Janine learns that Ryan has gone over to visit Stacey. Suspicious of his motives, she steals keys and lets herself into Stacey's house to check on him. However, she does not find him and Stacey throws her out. Ryan is in fact hiding under Lily's cot.
Pat sees Ryan kissing Stacey and tells Janine. Janine is furious, and vows to kill them both. She buys sedatives and poisons Ryan with them. He is left bedridden but manages to escape. He is then hospitalised, and Janine attempts to cut off his air supply but cannot go through with it. When Ryan is released from hospital, he convinces Janine that he still loves her but then publicly declares his love to Stacey in The Queen Victoria. Janine sees this and realises she has lost him for good, until Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) hands Janine a mobile phone containing a recording of Stacey confessing to murdering Archie. Janine reveals that Stacey murdered Archie but the recording has been wiped by Max. Janine visits Stacey and stabs herself in an attempt to frame her, and convinces Stacey's mother Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) to call the police. Stacey escapes the country with Lily. In hospital, Janine forgives Ryan. Blaming Janine for Stacey leaving, Ryan refuses to reuinte with Janine and attempts to kill her by removing her oxygen tubing when she is hospitalised. She is saved by Ricky's chance arrival, but both Ricky and Pat denounce Janine's actions when she admits that her injuries are self-inflicted.
When Ryan's sister Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is left homeless and jobless, Janine takes her in. Janine uses Whitney to make money, coaxing her into escorting and stealing from her employer. However, Janine jealously rejects Whitney when a client refuses to sleep with Janine, hoping to see Whitney instead. Janine then cannot afford her rent and moves in with Ricky and his family. Whitney goes missing but Janine lies that she is with Ryan, however, she soon admits she does not know where Whitney is. Janine and Lauren Branning (Jacqueline Jossa) search for her, and track her down to Dartford where Janine leans that Whitney is being sexually exploited by Rob Grayson (Jody Latham). She tells Whitney she cares about her and recalls her previous experience as a drug-addicted prostitute, advising Whitney to return home. Whitney refuses to leave and Janine is evicted by Rob. Janine and Lauren then watch helplessly as Rob drives Whitney away. Concerned for Whitney's welfare, an anxious Lauren tells Ricky and Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) about Whitney's situation, Ricky visits Janine where he shouts at her for neglecting Whitney and tells her that she will be to blame and at fault if Whitney never returns home and that she is not to come near his family again. Whitney is eventually found by Lauren and returns home to Ricky.
Ricky and Janine receive news that their maternal, rich, grandmother, Lydia Simmonds (Heather Chasen), is very sick and in need of someone to look after her. Janine decides to take in her granny with the ulterior motive of having a place in her will. Janine soon learns that Lydia is very similar to herself and they both put on an act of hating each other. Janine eventually admits she loves her granny and enjoys looking after her. Lydia's health quickly deteriorates and Janine sees the copy of her will in which Lydia has left all her money to a charity. Janine stays up with Lydia and tells her she doesn't care about not being in the will. Lydia explains that she wanted to look after Janine after her mother died but Pat and Frank wouldn't allow it. After giving Janine her mothers locket Lydia dies. Janine is devastated by Lydia's death and refuses to be comforted by Pat after finding out she stopped her seeing her gran. The Square (including Pat) speculate whether Janine killed Lydia. Ryan calls the police on Janine after he too suspects she murdered Lydia. Janine is questioned but released without charge.