Spoiler warning for Thursday 18th January 2024 episode of EastEnders, released at 6am on BBC iPlayer and will air at 7.30pm on BBC One.


EastEnders has aired an emotional unannounced departure in the early release of Thursday's episode.

The BBC One soap continued a dramatic week for the Mitchells after scheming Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) discovered her bully brother Phil (Steve McFadden) had cheated on wife Kat (Jessie Wallace) before their wedding with Lola's mother Emma Harding (Patsy Kensit).

When Phil did not give in to Sam's blackmail threats to get her hands on her share of the money left to her by their late Aunt Sal (the late Anna Karen), Sam exposed Phil's secret to a crowded Queen Vic pub during his and Kat's birthday party.

In the aftermath, Kat and Phil's marriage crumbled, and Sam found herself out in the cold among the Mitchell clan and most of the Square.

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Following this, Sam argued with Phil, who disowned her, and she made plans to leave Walford once again, but not before stealing wads of money from Peggy's nightclub amid a goodbye to friend Zack Hudson (James Farrar) and posting her money to her son Ricky Branning (Frankie Day).

After this, a tearful Sam headed to the Walford East tube station and fled town once more.

So, is this the last we have seen of Sam Mitchell in EastEnders?

Has Sam Mitchell left EastEnders for good? Kim Medcalf exit explained

Yes, the scenes in the episode on Thursday 18th January 2024 saw Kim Medcalf’s final scenes as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders.

RadioTimes.com understands that Kim Medcalf has finished filming as Sam Mitchell on the BBC One soap after returning to the role in the autumn, following an extended break last year.

Kim Medcalf as Sam Mitchell, Ellie Dadd as Amy Mitchell, and Scott Maslen as Jack Branning in EastEnders sat around a dinner table
Kim Medcalf (left) departs her role as Sam Mitchell in EastEnders. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

However, the door has been left wide open for Sam to make a comeback down the line. Executive producer Chris Clenshaw previously hinted at the recurring nature of Sam's character.

In our winter preview, Clenshaw noted: "I think Sam is such a great character that can just turn up at the Mitchells', cause mayhem, leave them to sort out the mess every time, and then go on her way."

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Actress Danniella Westbrook originated the role of Sam Mitchell for various stints in the 1990s, but Medcalf took over the role from 2002 until 2005.

Kim Medcalf as Sam Mitchell standing in the Slater living room in EastEnders.
Sam Mitchell (Kim Medcalf) returned in 2022 but now departs in 2024. BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron

Westbrook later reprised the role for short stints from 2009 to 2010 and in a guest stint in 2016 to mark the death of Peggy Mitchell, played by the late Dame Barbara Windsor.

However, Medcalf returned to our screens in the role in April 2022 and has been in the part until her exit today, bar a break from April to November last year.

So, could we see Sam again? Fans will have to wait and see.

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EastEnders airs Monday to Friday on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this week.

Visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you're looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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