Samantha Womack is to return to 'EastEnders' two years after featuring in a controversial storyline that left her so stressed she needed to take a break.

The actress, who plays Ronnie Mitchell, will start filming again for the programme in the summer as viewers see her head back to Walford after her release from prison.

samantha womack

Samantha Womack

Ronnie was locked up in a plot which saw her abduct Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) and Alfie Moon's (Shane Ritchie) baby Tommy, replacing him with her own baby who had died in a cot death.

The soap had almost 9,000 complaints from viewers, leading to the plot being wrapped up early, while Womack left EastEnders because of feeling exhausted - even chopping off and recolouring her familiar blonde hair on leaving.

At the time she said she did not want her children to see her final scenes in case it upset them. "I did find the storyline very, very difficult to play. It was draining emotionally and physically and by the end I was shattered," she said in an interview at the time.

Womack told Hello! magazine: "I worked out I'd been crying or screaming at work every day for six days a week for over two years.

"Can you imagine how exhausting and tiring that is? You're crying, weeping and telling your brain something awful has happened, so of course that is going to affect you and your body.

"My brain may know I am acting, but my body was doing a different thing. I needed to stop and find peace, a bit like Ronnie."

The actress, who began working on the soap in 2007 and left in July 2011, is returning to Albert Square following her release, throwing ex-husband Jack Branning (Scott Maslen) into confusion.

Womack said: "I am thrilled to be returning to the role of Ronnie for the next six months. Ronnie is coming out of prison and her re-appearance in the Square is going to create havoc. I can't wait to be a Mitchell once again."

Gary Lucy will also be returning to the BBC1 soap as Danny Pennant.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Samantha Womack attends the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • House Of Anubis: Season Two - UK TV premiere

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 11: Samantha Womack attends a special preview screening of Nickelodeon's teen drama series 'House Of Anubis' Season Two at Freemasons Hall on March 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Jon Furniss/WireImage)

  • British Academy Film & Television Awards 1997

    Samantha Janus Attends The 1997 Bafta British Academy Film & Television Awards At London'S Royal Albert Hall. (Photo by Antony Jones/Justin Goff\UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Samantha Womack attends the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

  • Nintendo 3DS - launch party

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 24: Samantha Womack aka Samantha Janus attends the launch of the Nintendo 3DS at Old Billingsgate Market on March 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

  • Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Samantha Womack attends the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)

  • Laurence Olivier Awards 2007

    Samantha Janus Attends The 2007 Laurence Olivier Awards At London'S Grosvenor House. . (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • Nintendo 3DS - launch party

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 24: Samantha Womack aka Samantha Janus attends the launch of the Nintendo 3DS at Old Billingsgate Market on March 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/Getty Images)

  • Laurence Olivier Awards 2007

    Samantha Janus Attends The 2007 Laurence Olivier Awards At London'S Grosvenor House. . (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

  • South Pacific Press Night and After Party

    LONDON - AUGUST 23: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Samantha Womack at the after party for the Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific Press NIght and After Party at the Barbican Theatre on August 23, 2011 in London,England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

  • Celebrity Sightings In London - May 12, 2013

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 12: Samantha Womack sighting at the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic)

  • Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Samantha Womack attends the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

  • South Pacific Press Night and After Party

    LONDON - AUGUST 23: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) Samantha Womack and Paulo Szot at the after party for the Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific Press NIght and After Party at the Barbican Theatre on August 23, 2011 in London,England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

  • Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 - Red Carpet Arrivals

    LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Samantha Womack attends the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards 2013 at the Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK | FOLLOW US ON TWITTER

comp banner

Also on HuffPost: