Inside EastEnders Sam Mitchell return – dodging a bullet and soap snub

Inside EastEnders Sam Mitchell return – dodging a bullet and soap snub

04/14/2022

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Sam Mitchell is set to make an explosive return to EastEnders next week and it’s actress Kim Medcalf that will be gracing us with her presence.

Kim played the iconic Mitchell sister between 2002 and 2005, but it was Danniella Westbrook who brought Sam to life back in the 90’s.

Daniella played Sam on and off from 1990 until 2016, while Kim helped fill in the gaps in Danniella’s absence.

Fans know that the Mitchells have a rich history with Albert Square, and while Sam’s return is set to bring the drama on-screen, it’s certainly done the same off-screen.

As Sam’s return edges closer, Daily Star are looking at the feud surrounding the recasting of Sam Mitchell.

Announcement

BBC bosses confirmed in January that EastEnders legend Sam Mitchell will be returning to the soap.

Since arriving on screens back in 1990, Sam, then played by Danniella Westbrook, wreaked havoc across the square at every given opportunity, so fans were more than excited at the prospect of her return.

During Sam's several stints's in the soap, the character was involved in various high-profile storylines, including cheating on her husband Ricky and the murder of Dirty Den.

Over the years, Danniella has predominantly played the fiery blonde, but Kim Medcalf also had her share of the action between the years 2002 and 2005.

After a six-year absence, the BBC announced that Sam is set to ruffle a few more feathers ahead of her arrival, but this time, it was Kim who got the call instead of Danniella.

Brutal reaction

After news about Sam’s return broke, a snubbed Danniella immediately hit out on Twitter about her replacement and made no secret of the fact she wasn't happy with the decision.

The first cryptic message in the string of tweets said: “Well well well who knew all I can say is thanks looks like I dodged a bullet.”

In another tweet posted one minute later, the 48-year-old slammed the BBC for overlooking her and even threatened to take legal action.

The actress angrily penned: “Wishing Kym the best of luck @BBCEastenders_ yet again this poor woman has to recreate Samantha Mitchell as close to my last two recent comebacks on the square go smash it, darling.. x oh but not @bbceastenders my legal team will be in touch.”

She went on to say that the last two times she was cast, she was never sacked or dismissed and saw out both contracts.

When she signed off the post, she hinted that further revelations would be revealed in her upcoming book.

Shock ratings decline

After the announcement, Danniella spoke to The Sun and revealed that she was “shocked” not to have been told about the decision before it was made public.

She said: 'I’ve been known as Sam Mitchell for 32 years. But nobody at EastEnders contacted me to let me know they had recast Kim in the role. There wasn’t even an email to my agent. I was shocked because they do have a responsibility to tell me and someone should have."

The star – who has struggled with drug addiction since the age of 14 added that the bosses have “have no idea” where she is today and that the decision could’ve had “very serious consequences” for her.

A few weeks after the news broke, Danniella took to Twitter once again to make a thinly-veiled dig at her former soap.

She wrote: “Can you imagine when they move Emmerdale to 7:30 pm how much the ratings in other channels will drop through the floor… Could be the End for Enders.”

Soap snub

Due to her difficult and highly publicised battle with substance abuse, Danniella’s contract was terminated and she was written out of the soap in 1996.

In 2002, producers decided to bring Sam back, however, the part was recast and given to Kim.

Last year, Danniella revealed that she praised Kim’s portrayal of Sam when she saw her on a red carpet ten years prior.

She said: “I went up to her on the red carpet and said ‘Kim, I just wanted to say well done on the part. I know you took a lot of backlash and everything for stepping in, but you did a fantastic job. You're a very talented actress and thank you for keeping Sam alive.”

Despite having no problem with Kim directly, Danniella exclusively revealed to Daily Star that she won’t be tuning in to watch her former character.

She said: “I don’t even know if she’s coming or not I have no idea, but I wont be watching.”

Danniella recently sparked speculation that she was eyeing up other soaps.

Speaking to GB News' Mark Dolan, she teased: "I would love to do Emmerdale or Corrie. I would also love to get back into stage acting where it all started for me."

Danniella also shut down rumours of an Emmerdale appearance, saying: “I’m not joining Emmerdale – I’m actually not looking to go back to TV just yet.”

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  • Eastenders
  • Danniella Westbrook

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