Samantha Womack has confirmed she will make a dramatic return to EastEnders this summer, two years after her character departed. Samantha will reprise the role of Ronnie Mitchell in the hit TV show, who viewers will see head back to Walford following her release from prison. "I am thrilled to be returning to the role of Ronnie for the next six months," said the actress, who will start filming her return scenes this summer.
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She added: "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."Samantha left the soap in 2011 as a baby swap storyline reached its climax. At the time the 40-year-old revealed she had found the scenes hard to film. "I did find the storyline very, very difficult to play," she told HELLO! Magazine at the time. "It was draining emotionally and physically and by the end I was shattered. My brain may know I am acting, but my body was doing a different thing. I needed to stop and find peace, a bit like Ronnie." Samantha joined the soap in 2007 as her character Ronnie Mitchell was introduced along with sister Roxy, played by Rita Simons. The sister-duo soon became favourites among viewers. At the time, executive producer Diederick Santer said the sisters were bringing "sexy, dramatic excitement" to the show.Ronnie Mitchell's return will mark an eventful time for Walford's residents, with producers promising "many new faces arriving in Walford creating many new and exciting dynamics in the Square".
Executive producer Lorraine Newman added: “We're delighted to announce Samantha Womack's return to Albert Square. The Mitchell sisters are a fabulous pairing and it will be an absolute delight to have Ronnie and Roxy back together on screen. However, Ronnie's departure wasn't without controversy for many residents in Walford and her return will be sure to ruffle quite a few feathers..."During her first stint on the show, Ronnie was involved in many major storylines including her on-screen daughter dying after being hit by a car, not to mention the baby swap storyline which gripped viewers and ultimately saw Ronnie sent to prison.Along with Samantha Womack, it has been confirmed Gary Lucy will return to the popular show as trouble-maker Danny Pennant.