Jessie Wallace has admitted that despite getting her big break as the ‘tart with a heart’ character Kat Slater in EastEnders, she doesn’t miss her time on the soap.

“I’ve got no regrets about leaving EastEnders,” she said firmly. “I don’t miss it at all.”

She admits that, although she left the BBC One soap more than 18 months ago, people still think of her as a soap actress.

Jessie said: “I’m always going to be a soap actress to people, although I don’t understand the difference, because at the end of the day, a successful actor is a working actor.

“Although I was in a soap for six years, I’m still a trained actress. And we all still work really hard in soap, so I don’t understand why we are pigeonholed.

“It’s going to take a long time to break away from EastEnders, which I completely understand. In a way it’s quite flattering to know that Kat made that much of an impact. It’s a huge compliment.

“It’s part of being an actor to play as many different parts as you can, and doing a period drama is so different from EastEnders. I had to wear a hat yesterday that was so big I couldn’t get through the door!”

Jessie stars in Miss Marie Lloyd: The Queen Of The Music Hall on BBC Four, on May 9.