The actress is returning to role as Ronnie Mitchell

Samantha Womack has revealed that she’s finally finding ’emotional strength and inner peace’ after her dad took his own life four years ago.

The actress was devastated when her father Noel Janus committed suicide aged 60 in 2009 but she was so busy working on EastEnders that grieving wasn’t an easy thing to do.

It happened at a very difficult time,’ says Samantha, 40.

I was working flat out so I couldn’t grieve properly – it’s taken me quite a while. He was a beautiful, spiritual man and I adored him.’

Having recently spent time at a relaxing retreat in Portugal, Samantha thinks she’s finally been able to deal with her dad’s death – though she still misses him terribly.

The world’s a very different place now,’ she tells Hello! ‘It will will never be the same as when my dad was in it.

Part of me is so similar to him – his love of music, food, his flamboyancy. I’m very much a chip off the old block, so I take comfort in knowing that part of him lives on in me.’

Samantha is now looking forward to reprising her role as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders after two years away from the soap.

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Anna Francis