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EastEnders star Kim Medcalf on what she misses the most about ‘incredible’ Barbara Windsor

EastEnders - Sam Mitchell returns to Walford with a suitcase and wearing a smart jacket.
EastEnders star Kim Medcalf has admitted that she misses Barbara Windsor as she makes her comeback to the soap. (Image credit: BBC)

EastEnders actress Kim Medcalf has revealed how much she misses her iconic on-screen mum Dame Barbara Windsor as she makes her return to the BBC soap.

Kim will be reprising her role as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, taking over from original actress Danniella Westbrook who played the character from 1990 to 2000.

The TV star first left the soap in 2005 after Sam fled to Brazil to avoid a jail sentence for being an accessory to the murder of Den Watts (Leslie Grantham). 

Sam (then played by Danniella) returned to Walford for mum Peggy's funeral in 2016, but after stirring up plenty of drama on her return, she headed back to Portugal alone, leaving her and Jack's son, Ricky, in London to live with his dad. 

Now, Kim is taking over the role for her comeback to the Square next week.

Fans are excited to see her back in Walford again, but life is strikingly different for the actress since she last stepped foot on the set and confessed that there is a ‘big hole’ where Dame Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell, should be.

Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders

Dame Barbara Windsor played iconic soap matriarch and Kim's on-screen mum Peggy Mitchell. (Image credit: BBC)

Talking to Metro (opens in new tab), she revealed: “It feels very different but also very similar. It’s so wonderful to still have some of my on-screen family including Steve and Perry (Fenwick). 

“I have to say though it’s very sad not to have the incredible Dame Barbara Windsor who played my on-screen mum.

“There is a big hole in the Mitchell family where Peggy should be and we all miss her very much, she was an icon in front of and behind the camera.”

EastEnders released a statement teasing Sam’s explosive return saying: "Trouble is on its way to Albert Square as the notorious Sam Mitchell (played by Kim Medcalf) returns to her old stomping ground. It doesn’t take long for Sam to ruffle some feathers and reignite old feuds, but why is she really back in Walford?"

Kim’s scenes air on Tuesday, April 19 2022 at 7:30 pm on BBC One and on BBC iPlayer.

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.