EastEnders star Jessie Wallace has confessed that she missed playing Kat Moon after her previous departure from the soap.

The 39-year-old actress, who returned to Albert Square last September after a five-year absence from the show, told TV Times that she felt as if she had “come home”.

However she admitted that she was nervous about returning, as she was worried she would be unable to slip back into character.

“I was nervous at first because I thought I might have forgotten how to play Kat, but as soon as I stepped onto the Square, she came back to me,” Jessie said.

“Even when I was out of the show, people called me Kat every day in the street. I was flattered and now I’m having a great time. The recent scripts have been brilliant.”

She also defended the recent controversial ‘baby swap’ storyline, in which Ronnie Branning exchanged her own baby son for Kat’s after hers fell victim to cot death.

The plot, which was screened over the New Year, became the most complained about story in the history of the soap – but Jessie voiced her support for it.

“At times it was really difficult to film – I’m a mother myself,” she said. “But I stand by it. We’re actors at the end of the day – we do our job and we go home.

“This story is an emotive subject but I feel honoured that it’s been given to us.”