With the news that the role of Sam Mitchell would be returning to EastEnders confirmed last month came threats of legal action against the BBC from actor Danniella Westrbook.
The OG Sam actor was (understandably) miffed when the Beeb passed her over to reprise the role, instead offering it to Kim Medcalf, who took on the character between 2002 and 2005, when Danniella was at the height of her very public cocaine addiction.
Taking to Twitter to wish her replacement luck but warn her former employer to “be afraid”, Danniella wrote, "Wishing Kym the best of luck at @BBCEastenders__ yet again this poor woman has to recreate a Samantha Mitchell as close to my last two recent come backs on the square go smash it darling..x
“Oh but not to @bbceastenders my legal team will be in touch to know why when I held the contract too the last two times the character bounced in & out on a ratings or stint. For the record I was never sacked or dismissed and saw out both contracts one of them even being extended for episodes.”
But who is the actor taking on the iconic role?
Who is Kim Medcalf?
Kim is a British actor who played the role of Sam Mitchell between 2002 and 2005. Before pursuing a career in acting Kim studied law at Bristol University, becoming an account manager selling soap powder for a pharmaceutical company after she graduated.
Kim soon realised line of work wasn't for her, however. She fell in love with acting after taking a speech and drama course, and got her first acting job in 2001. She starred in the musical One Touch of Venus before auditioning for Eastenders.
Outside of her time on EastEnders, Kim has done plenty of stage work including in The Penelopiad, South Pacific and Hay Fever alongside Dame Judi Dench.
Speaking of her return to Walford, EastEnders bosses said, “Sam is returning to Walford, bringing all the Mitchell mischief and mayhem with her... Kim Medcalf has said ‘She’s a brilliant character and I can’t wait to get back in The Square this spring.’ And we can't wait to see her explosive return! #EastEnders #News”.
How old is Kim Medcalf?
Kim is 48.
CHECK OUT classic EastEnders cast then and now
Den Watts, played by Leslie Grantham
'Dirty' Den Watts was Albert's Square's original villain, terrorising his wife and neighbours and getting his teenaged daughter's best friend pregnant.His marriage to alcoholic Angie Watts was one of the most tempestuous the soap had ever seen and a year after we were introduced to them he handed her divorce papers on the 1986 Christmas Day episode – watched by a record breaking 30.15million viewers. He was "killed off" by an East End gang in 1989, but returned again in 2003 for an 18 month stint, before being killed off for good at the hands of his second wife, Chrissie Watts.His character has been described by EastEnders executive producer Louise Berridge as being arguably one of the most iconic soap characters ever.
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What happened to Sam Mitchell?
The last time we saw Sam on Albert Square was when she returned to attend her mum Peggy’s funeral. It’s also when she abandoned her son, Ricky, leaving him with his dad Jack Branning and she leaves in the back of a taxi.
Is Kim Medcalf returning to EastEnders?
Yep, in January the BBC confirmed that Kim would be reprising the role of Sam Mitchell.
What happened to Danniella Westbook on EastEnders?
The news did not go down well with original Sam actor Danniella Westrook, who took to social media to threaten legal action after the news was confirmed.
A source told Closer at the time, “Danniella’s angry Tweets have ruffled a lot of feathers in the EastEnders camp – not to mention those of the actors and friends she worked alongside for so many years.
“She’s never been one to mince her words, and given she no longer has any alliances or loyalties to any of them, she won’t be afraid to unleash her anger. While they don’t have anything to hide, of course it will all be told from Danniella’s perspective and that may not align with their own recollections of the past, so there are fears among some of those who worked closely with her that they’ll face her wrath in the memoir.”
Does Kim Medcalf have a husband?
Kim keeps her private life very secret but she does have a husband named Simon. According to RSVP Live, "She was pictured with husband Simon in 2013 at a Playhouse Theatre production in London, but has shared no further information about her relationship status or family life in recent years."
Does Kim Medcalf have Instagram?
Kim doesn't appear to have Instagram