EastEnders favourite Michelle Fowler rumoured to return - but has she been recast?

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Fans of EastEnders will definitely remember one of its most iconic characters, Michelle Fowler.

But they might not be so thrilled to learn that, according to reports, the BBC has decided to bring her back with a whole new look, as she has been recast.

The Sun reports that the original actress who played Michelle back in the 1980s and 1990s - Susan Tully - has refused to return, and so show bosses have cast musical star Jenna Russell in her place.

EastEnders
Susan Tully, left, with Wendy Richard and Bill Treacher as the Fowler family in EastEnders (PA Archive)

The newspaper cites a source saying: "Michelle was one of the most popular characters and they think Jenna will be a great fit.

"The show has faced accusations of being boring but it still keeps viewers interested with curveballs like this."

A spokesperson for the BBC told the Press Association: "Viewers can expect a lot of surprises this Christmas, but we don't comment on future storylines as this will spoil the enjoyment."

For those who remember the early days of EastEnders, they'll recall Susan's brilliant portrayal of Michelle, who was a fixture on the series from the very start.

She appeared in the first episode in 1985 and was a major character until her departure in 1995.

During her time in Albert Square, she had a child with 'Dirty' Den Watts as a teenager, a daughter Vicky, and a son, Mark Junior, with Grant Mitchell after a one-night stand.

She was also the victim of a shooting, was the best friend of Sharon Mitchell, had numerous lovers and plenty of heated rows before packing it all in and moving to America, but she is still frequently mentioned by the residents of Walford and earlier this year she wrote a letter to the late Peggy Mitchell.

Guys and Dolls
Jenna Russell with Ewan McGregor in Guys And Dolls in 2005 (Yui Mok PA Archive/PA Images)

If Jenna is stepping into the role, she'll have some big shoes to fill, but the 49-year-old actress is an Olivier Award-winning stage star who has appeared in the West End and on Broadway.