EastEnders star Danniella Westbrook didn’t look to Kim Medcalf’s portrayal of Sam Mitchell for inspiration before reprising the role.
Back in the game: Danniella reprised her role of Sam over the summer.
Westbrook played the role of Sam intermittently between 1990-1999 before the role was recast to Kim Medcalf for three years between 2002-2005. Despite the recast show bosses looked to Danniella after deciding to reintroduce the character earlier this year.
“– the guv’ner and I had a chat and he wanted Sam the way I played Sam, so we just did it the way I do it and that’s all I could do really.” What’s On TV notes Westbrook as saying
The actress also admitted that she was nervous about returning to acting following a lengthy hiatus from the profession.
Centre: Danniella Westbrook as Sam Mitchell flanked by brothers Grant (l) and Phil (r) actors Ross Kemp and Steve McFadden
“I was very nervous because I hadn’t done anything for five years and I hadn’t done any acting for 10 years, so Steve (McFadden, who plays Sam’s brother Phil) mentored me and talked me through stuff and helped me out.
“My first two weeks were spent constantly with Steve so I was very lucky. They were very kind to me in that sense.” – Danniella Westbrook
Westbrook’s previous time on the BBC One soap was blighted by a cocaine addiction; by the late 90s use of the drug had eroded away her septum. She has been back on our screens since last Friday (4 September) as Sam who surprised her family by turning up at the Queen Vic despite being wanted by police over covering up Dirty Den’s death.