Has Jane Beale left EastEnders for good? Actress Laurie Brett confirms exit

Laurie Brett first joined EastEnders in 2004

Sharnaz Shahid

It has been confirmed that EastEnders favourite Jane Beale will not be returning to Walford. Actress Laurie Brett, who has played Ian Beale's wife since 2004, confirmed the surprising news this week during a chat with Digital Spy, saying: "I've loved every minute of playing Jane Beale. To return to EastEnders with such a huge storyline was an absolute gift. However, what I have known from the start is that with the soap gods watching us at all times, there is only so long before things go full circle." Her character was last seen in Albert Square on Monday, leaving worried husband Ian a sinister voicemail message after she was forced to leave under Max Branning's orders.


Laurie Brett played Ian Beale's wife Jane

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The actress went on to add: "It's been hard keeping the secret, but the storyline has been great to play out and I have loved every minute of it." Shortly after the announcement, it was revealed that an old face would be making a return - Melanie Owen, played by Tamzin Outhwaite. Laurie, 48, took to Twitter to tell her followers: "So it’s goodbye from me and Hello from her - @mouthwaite, Mel back on the square.. woohoo!! (never in same show at same time - same person)" [sic] Tamzin, 46, replied: "And how brilliant were you my friend? @LauriebrettX love you x."

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Laurie later added: "Thanks so much for all your lovely messages re Jane.. I'll go through them soon.. But your support so appreciated." She continued: "Would like to say a huge thanks to @spinalinjuries and research team @bbceastenders for all their help in making janes journey so detailed... really chuffed we managed to keep my leaving so quiet for 6 months!! Unheard of 😂 I came back as @dominictc first big surprise. And I'm leaving in the same way - I really wanted that - so thanks to everyone who kept the secret.. you know who you are." Turning the attention towards her on-screen husband Adam Woodyatt, the soap star concluded: "And @AdamWoodyatt - I'll miss you. Hope to see you and @BevWoodyatt Very Soon!!"