Former EastEnders executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins has admitted that he was tempted to recast the role of Michelle Fowler when he started on the BBC1 soap in 2013.
“I considered it when I first arrived and then decided against it at the last minute,” he reveals in the new issue of Radio Times. “I wanted Susan Tully and she wouldn’t do it because she’s a director now. But she said that, one day, she might sit in the corner like Lou Beale. So I thought, ‘No, I’m just going to leave this alone.’ But I understand why they’ve done it because Michelle has that rich history.”
The character of Michelle Fowler (now played by Jenna Russell, rather than Susan Tully) reappeared in Walford last Christmas and has subsequently been involved in many high profile storylines, including an affair with an American student and a smash-up at the local chip shop that saw her drive a car through the front window of Beale’s Plaice.
Susan Tully (above) as the original Michelle Fowler and Jenna Russell (below) as the recast version
Speaking about his decision to re-cast Michelle, current show boss Sean O’Connor revealed recently that Jenna Russell had the “full seal of approval” from her predecessor Susan Tully, before adding:
“Michelle is one of the iconic, original characters of the show. We had the choice that we never investigate that rich, fertile character again or we get someone else to do it and that’s exactly what we’ve done.”
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