EastEnders star Danniella Westbrook has admitted she didn't watch any of Kim Medcalf's scenes as Sam Mitchell before reprising the role. The actress left the soap in 2000 after a public battle with cocaine, and the role of Sam was played by Kim between 2002 and 2005. Asked if she watched Kim in the role, Danniella - who returned to the show this month - said: "No - 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." The 35-year-old also said she sought comfort in her co-stars to get over her nerves about returning. "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 Phil Mitchell) 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."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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