EastEnders attempted to clear up confusion over the fate of a missing character in last night’s episode but the answer has left fans with even more questions.
Viewers have been asking why Michelle Fowler hasn’t been seen around Albert Square recently and have wondered if she’s been quietly written out.
The last big storyline for the former teacher was when she got her revenge on stalker Tom with the help of Denise, Karen and Sharon in early November.
She hasn’t been around as her brother Martin has welcomed new baby Hope home, or been there to support her cousin Ian as he faces losing the Cafe so soon after step-son Steven’s death and his wife Jane’s departure.
Now the show have offered an explanation about Michelle’s sudden disappearance as her best friend Sharon casually dropped her into the conversation when she was helping Linda Carter pack to leave The Vic in the New Year.
“Did I tell you Michelle’s going to Australia for Christmas? Her daughter lives out there,” she said.
An unimpressed Linda replied: “Barbie on the beach? Not my idea of Christmas.”
They were then interrupted by Shirley and that was the end of their conversation – but viewers kept talking about it on Twitter.
They were surprised to hear Michelle had gone Down Under and wondered if it means she won’t comeback.
“Have they written Michelle out?!” one asked.
Another said: “So Michelle’s off to Ramsay Street for Christmas. Have they silently axed her or what?”
Some believe the departure could be something to do with returning executive John Yorke and his attempt to turn the ailing soap around.
The character of Michelle made a shock return last Christmas with a new actress – Jenna Russell – in the role.
Not everyone has been happy about the iconic character, who was played by Susan Tully, being replaced and many fans have dubbed Jenna “fake Michelle”.
Now they are speculating John feels the same way, and he’s phasing Michelle out again now he’s in charge, along with other less popular characters who were introduced before he took back the reins.
However, others have a completely different theory and wonder if Michelle’s absence is to do with actress Jenna having another filming commitment.
On her Twitter account recently she hasn’t made reference to appearing on the stage or screen away from EastEnders but perhaps that’s because it’s a secret?
Some fans believe she could be preparing to go into the Celebrity Big Brother house in the New Year!
It seems half the residents of Albert Square could end up on the reality show as fans have speculated that Lorna Fitzgerald and Jacqueline Jossa could also appear, as their characters Abi and Lauren Branning have been confirmed to leave the soap at Christmas.
So will one of them be on Big Brother? Or will we see Michelle return from Oz? Could she even return as Susan Tully if John has convinced the actress to return as he has Tamzin Outhwaite?
The latest update on Michelle has indeed left more questions than answers!