New EastEnders boss John Yorke has axed legendary character Michelle Fowler — just 14 months after her shock return to Albert Square.
The Walford veteran, played by Jenna Russell after original star Susan Tully refused to rejoin, was brought back by ex-Enders chief Sean O’Connor having been absent from the soap for 11 years.
But having run out of storylines, the iconic character will once again be written out, as Yorke concentrates on establishing the Slater family.
A TV source said: “Bringing back an 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.
“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.”
Michelle’s comeback was one of O’Connor’s last acts has boss of EastEnders before Yorke — who steered the soap for three years in the early Noughties — returned in 2017.
Original actress Susan, 50, who played Michelle in the soap’s first ever episode in 1985 turned down the chance to reprise the role leading to producers casting award-winning actress Jenna, also 50.
Her big storyline was the revelation she was involved in a romantic relationship with a former pupil while working as teacher in the US, which prompted her return to Walford.
She also involved in a plot surrounding a stalker.
An EastEnders spokeswoman said: “Jenna is a terrific actress who has loved her time on the show playing Michelle but was a mutual decision to write the character out.
"We wish Jenna all the best for the future.”