Eastenders: Samantha Womack was 'shattered' by baby swap storyline
Samantha Womack has admitted that she was glad to leave Eastenfersd, because she struggled with the "emotionally and physically draining" baby swap storyline.
The 38-year-old actress joined the BBC soap as Ronnie Mitchell four years ago, but announced her departure in late 2010, when she realised the on screen drama, was starting to affect her in real life.
She said: "I did find the storyline very, very difficult to play. It was draining emotionally and physically and by the end I was shattered. 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 some peace, a bit like Ronnie."
Speaking about the controversial storyline, which attracted more than 9,000 complaints from viewers, Womack added that writers feel the need to push boundaries, to keep people interested.
Speaking to Hello! magazine, Samantha added: "Unfortunately, because of the way television is going - and by that I don't just mean just soap, but reality and also drama - there is a massive consumer need for controversy and high-risk storylines. We may not like it, but the viewing figures go through the roof."