Samantha Womack’s forthcoming exit from EastEnders has generated some empathy from an unlikely viewer – Kym Marsh.

The singer-turned-actress, who plays Coronation Street barmaid Michelle Connor, said she can understand why Sam (Ronnie Branning) has decided to leave.

“Samantha Womack’s last scenes as EastEnders’ Ronnie Branning air this week and she recently revealed that she decided to leave the soap because her character’s storylines had left her physically and emotionally shattered. I can relate to that,” Kym wrote in her weekly New! column.

“Although they’re the sort of plots I love, it is hard going. It must be especially hard for Sam as she’s had one harrowing storyline after another,” she added.

Kym’s character has had her fair share of drama on the ITV soap, including a controversial baby swap storyline and the shocking death of her brother Liam from a hit-and-run accident.

And Kym reckons it’s about time Samantha’s acting talent was recognised.

“She’s a fantastic actress and although Jessie Wallace was a deserved winner of the best actress award at the British Soap Awards, I think it was an oversight that Sam wasn’t even nominated,” she added.