Danniella Westbrook makes fresh accusations against BBC over EastEnders recasting

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Danniella Westbrook has hit out at the BBC for failing to forewarn her that her iconic EastEnders character had been recast.

The 48-year-old actress first played Sam Mitchell – the daughter of Peggy and Eric Mitchell and younger sister of Phil and Grant – on the BBC soap way back in 1990 and last appeared as the character in 2016.

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The character has also been played by Kim Medcalf, 48, on and off since 2002 – with the actress reprising the role again from this year.

News of Kim’s return as Sam was announced last month – with Danniella expressing disappointment that she wasn’t asked to reprise the role herself.

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Danniella Westbrook makes fresh accusations against BBC over EastEnders recasting
© Getty Danniella Westbrook

Now she has hit out at the BBC saying they lacked courtesy and consideration for her health when they snubbed her.

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She told The Sun on Sunday: “I’ve been known as Sam Mitchell for 32 years. But nobody at EastEnders contacted me to let me know they had recast Kim in the role.

“There wasn’t even an email to my agent. I was shocked because they do have a responsibility to tell me and someone should have.”

Danniella Westbrook makes fresh accusations against BBC over EastEnders recasting
© BBC ONE Danniella Westbrook

The actress went on to suggest show bosses had failed to consider her mental health by failing to forewarn her of her character being recast ahead of the news making headlines.

She said: “The bosses have seen me go through addiction and they have no idea where I am today. Thankfully I’m OK. But if I hadn’t been it could have had very serious consequences for me.”

Danniella has already threatened to sue the BBC over their decision not to hire her back.

Taking to Twitter in the wake of Kim’s casting as Sam announcement, the troubled actress wrote: “Well well well who knew [laughing emojis] all I can say is thanks looks like I dodged a bullet.

She then added: ‘Oh but not to @BBCEastEnders my legal team will be in touch to know why when I held the…’@bbceastenders contract too the last two times the character bounced in &out on a ratings or stint. For the record I was never sacked or dismissed and saw out both contracts one of them even being extended for episodes.”

Danniella Westbrook makes fresh accusations against BBC over EastEnders recasting
© @danniellawestbrook_73 Danniella Westbrook

But the claims didn’t end there as she launched into a tirade against the ‘top of the show’ as the bitter rant continued.

She wrote: “It’s great 2 C the same level of care standards & loyalty 2’@bbceastenders you bang on about having and giving to both new & old members of cast is still going as strong then as it always has… not just me as Sam that needs replacing I’d look closer to the top of the show and cut that dead wood after all it’s all about evolving.”

She signed off the post: “Bet you all can’t wait for my new book now can ya ….. oh it’s gonna go way back to the things I’ve never ever told #beafraidpeople #itsallgood’.”

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