EastEnders icon makes surprise return to Albert Square months after exit

EastEnders legend Sam Mitchell is set to make an epic return to Albert Square from the back of a van, after her brief departure earlier this year.

The iconic character played by actress Kim Medcalf, 49, left E20 in a black cab in April for a new job running a hotel in Spain. But in a week's time, fans will see Sam returning to her East London roots – and the lives of her son Ricky and new granddaughter Charli Slater will also be explored.

Kim's character Sam left in April after a year long stint on the show. Determined to support her son Ricky (Frankie Day), who is set to become a dad when Lily Slater (Lillia Turner) gives birth, Sam decided to take a job managing a hotel in Spain.

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Despite needing the extra cash, Ricky wasn't pleased that his mum was jetting off for pastures new as he’d enjoyed spending time getting to know her properly. During Sam's final scenes, Ricky was seen given his mum a warm embrace as they said their emotional goodbyes.

Viewers were upset when Sam, who is Phil Mitchell's younger sister left the show, however, it was never confirmed in the programme that her exit was a permanent one. During an episode in April, Sam's departure was mentioned by Denise Fox (Diane Parish) when she informed her sister Kim (Tameka Empson ) that she’d received a call from Sam.

She said at the time: "She’s staying in Spain," as she added that Sam claimed the hotel "desperately" needed her assistance. The conversation between the two ladies ended by Denise mentioning that Sam would be away in Spain for "most of the summer".

Denise and Kim's conversation was later followed by Jack Branning, played by Scott Maslen, writing up an ad to rent out flat 5D on Albert Square, which is where Sam was living during her time in Albert Square. Alfie Moon, who is played by actor Shane Richie, overheard the revelation of the apartment being advertised which obviously piqued his interest, as he's currently living in the Slater household.

Earlier this year a BBC spokesperson told The Sun: "We can confirm that Sam Mitchell has not left Walford for good and Kim Medcalf will be returning to EastEnders." However an exact date for her comeback has yet to be announced.

In new pictures released by the BBC, Sam can be seen wearing a white jacket and blue jeans as she she's thrown out of a van by a mystery man. She is then helped up by her brother Phil, who is clearly startled to see her back.

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