Samantha Womack returns to EastEnders after two years

Ronnie Mitchell

Samantha Womack, who plays Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders, is to return to the soap after a two-year break.

The actress left the show after playing a difficult role in a storyline, saying she needed a break to "find peace".

It had almost 9,000 complaints from viewers leading to the plot finishing early. Her character was involved in the abduction of a child after her own died of cot death.

Her return ties in with her character being released from prison.

Ronnie was locked up in a plot which saw her abduct Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and Alfie Moon's (Shane Ritchie) baby Tommy, replacing him with her own baby.

'Exhausting'

The actress, who began working on the soap in 2007 and left in July 2011, is returning to Albert Square following her release, throwing ex-husband Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) into confusion.

She said: "I am thrilled to be returning to the role of Ronnie for the next six months.

"Ronnie is coming out of prison and her re-appearance in the square is going to create havoc. I can't wait to be a Mitchell once again."

Gary Lucy will also be returning to the BBC One soap as Danny Pennant.

Samantha Womack told Hello! magazine about her feelings when she left the show.

"I worked out I'd been crying or screaming at work every day for six days a week for over two years," she said. "Can you imagine how exhausting and tiring that is?

"My brain may know I am acting, but my body was doing a different thing. I needed to stop and find peace."

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