Danniella Westbrook has spoken out on the rumours that her EastEnders character Sam Mitchell has been ‘recast’ – and insisted that soap bosses haven’t informed her of the decision.
The BBC star played the role of Sam between 1990 and 2016, but was written out on various occasions due to her drug taking and poor attendance on set.
In 2016 it was claimed she was axed from the show after just two weeks due to "backstage issues" – including arriving two hours late and bringing along her then-23-year-old toyboy boyfriend.
However Danniella took to Twitter at the time to blast reports she was axed, and said she was only contracted for those episodes.
She said: "I had two weeks work 2 do EastEnders a funeral to shoot," she wrote. "Nothing with Peggy or grant. I was not sacked or axed I just did 4 episodes.
"The Cr*p story a supposed source has given is just that CR*P! I came back for the 4 episodes they needed me for & my last day was Saturday."
Danniella wasn’t the only actress to play Sam, as the role was taken up by Kim Medcalf between 2002 and 2005.
And now fans are certain that Sam is set to return, as Sharon surprised Kat by getting in contact with Sam.
Rather than being killed off on the soap, Sam emigrated to Portugal along with Grant Mitchell, played by Ross Kemp.
In recent episodes, Sharon explained of Sam: “She got a message from Phil telling her to pick him up from the airport this afternoon, he never arrived.”
“Do you think the old bill nicked him before he got on the flight?” Kat asked.
“No we would have heard,” Sharon replied. “I think he booked that flight when he thought he was flying alone.
Eager fans hopped onto the theory, with one writing: "They need to bring back Sam & Grant too will make EastEnders again if Phil gets lucky and reunites with them and the big mistake EastEnders made was kill off [their] two cousins Roxy & Ronnie."
Another posted: "Mentioning Sam Mitchel?? Is she a possible return? I loved Kim Medcalf’s portrayal of Sam back in the day!"
As someone else gushed: "It’s gonna be a Sam cameo, isn’t it?"
Picking up on the theories circulating on social media, actress Danniella took to Instagram to post a screenshot of an article from The Express which posited Sam could return.
But she explained: "This is not me but good luck Sam."
The star added: "@BBCEastEnders have not contacted me to say they are re-casting or if they have. But that’s ok.
"Who plays Sam next I wish all the luck in the world to. Enjoy," she concluded, adding the hashtag #OutWithTheOldInWithTheNew.
Fans and celebrity pals rushed to support Danniella in the comments section, with Wayne Lineker writing: "Babe there’s only one Sam Mitchell! #BringHerBack."
Another wondered: "Did they contact you when they recast you early 2000s? Is that a thing? Much love!"
Someone else pointed out: "There’s only one person who can play Sam Mitchell and that’s the original Real McCoy @danniellawestbrook_73."
While another posted: "Because you wish others well it comes back to you more @danniellawestbrook_73."
However, soap bosses have not confirmed Sam’s recasting or whether the character will ever return – and the theory appears to be just a theory, at least for now.
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