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EastEnders star Kim Medcalf tipped for return as Sam Mitchell

EastEnders fan favourite Sam Mitchell is reportedly set for a return to Walford this year.

Last seen around Easter, Kim Medcalf's character left after securing a lucrative job in Spain – much to the surprise of son Ricky Jr, who was about to become a first-time dad.

The actress was recently spotted filming at Elstree Studios, meaning it's likely she'll reappear later in the autumn.

sam mitchell in eastenders
BBC

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It was recently announced that Brian Conley, who plays Rocky Cotton, is leaving. Conley joined the BBC soap three years ago and his exit is said to have been planned for quite some time.

On the possibility of Rocky's exit unfolding within the killer Christmas twist, a spokesperson for EastEnders told Digital Spy: "There are many rumours and theories circulating about whose body is under the Christmas tree but, to not spoil the drama for the audience, we will not be commenting on any speculation."

rocky in eastenders
BBC

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Conley made sure to put any rumours of unrest to bed in a statement, reading: "I am going and I made it for many reasons, that decision. It is tough because they're such a wonderful crowd, in front of the cameras and behind the cameras and I've loved my three years there.

"So that's the truth in the reports. There's other parts of reports saying that I clashed with TV bosses and the crew. I didn't clash with anyone. I didn't have a rant. But they'll probably report on this now that I'm ranting about ranting! But I'm not ranting!

"I have gone with their blessings at the Beeb and I'm excited about the future and where it's going to go. And I'm also excited about Rocky's exit because I know it's good."

EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.

Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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