EastEnders legend Samantha Womack feels broody again after beating breast cancer05/08/2023
Actress Samantha Womack is feeling broody again at the age of 50 after beating breast cancer.
The former EastEnders star, who tours the UK next month in theatre production 42nd Street with her actor partner Oliver Farnworth, is supporting Yes To Life, a National Lottery-funded support network which connects cancer survivors and gives them space to talk about their experience.
Mum-of-three Sam, who is also a stepparent to ex-husband Mark Womack’s son, says: "I suddenly really appreciated my kids and wanted to do it all again.
READ MORE: EastEnders' Roxy Mitchell return confirmed six years after heartbreaking exit
“I don’t know if it would be possible now, post-treatment, and it sounds incredibly greedy because I’ve done it but it might be something connected to life – making life, being alive… I haven’t figured it out yet. Never say never."
As she contemplates new life, Sam reveals her on-screen sister and off-screen best mate Rita Simons didn’t tell her about going back to the soap to film flashback scenes last month as Roxy Mitchell.
She appeared as a "figment of her daughter’s imagination" after the soap siblings were presumed drowned in 2017 in a swimming pool in a storyline which angered viewers losing two iconic characters.
Sam, who played Ronnie Mitchell first in 2007, says: "I spoke to her a week before it came out as I’d heard something from other friends, but she hadn’t told me. Would I ever go back? I don’t know."
"She was saying, 'You didn’t see my body so maybe I could have survived' but I was like, 'Well we were both floating in that pool'.
"It would be a huge reach to suggest we both got fished out and somehow got hidden, but funny things happen in soap. I don’t know how that would work, but I love her optimism.
"EastEnders gave me some of the best years of my life."
Sam went public with her health battle last August, and now after treatment will travel the country in a campervan she and Oliver have converted with their rescue dogs for their theatre stint.
She says: "When we’re not on stage we can take the van and dogs, travel around and go for walks."
The couple met when they starred in a 2018 stage adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ novel The Girl On The Train and fell in love shortly before Covid struck.
"He’s been incredibly supportive," says Sam. "It’s a lot for a partner, you forget that the disease takes over their life as well."
During treatment and recovery Sam turned to Yes To Life.
She says: "What I find extraordinarily moving about women is they spend their life nurturing
"Even after diagnosis, these women were telling me, ‘I don’t want to hurt my mum, worry my sister, scare my kids’."
But it was the sudden death of Sam’s ‘soulmate’ dog Lola which she struggled with the most.
While watching her German shepherd/greyhound mix taking her last breaths at the vet, Sam felt the bottom of her world fall out.
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She says: "I didn’t know how to process it. It was much more upsetting to me than my diagnosis."
The next day she and Ollie flew to their Spanish home in the Valencian mountains, and there she could finally heal.
She says:"I find it very soothing to be among nature. The mountains are very big, and you feel very small.
"They were here a long time before you, and they’ll still be here long after you’ve gone.
"You’re not all important, and that’s a really nice feeling."
The National Lottery Awards are the annual search to find the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded people and projects. To nominate your favourite, tweet @LottoGoodCauses using the hashtag #NLAwards or complete an entry form through lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. Entries must be in by midday on May 16 to be counted
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