Kym Valentine is back playing Libby in Neighbours following a heath scare.

But the actress, who was unable to work after a severe chest infection, said she could not watch the show to see Michala Banas play her character while she was off.

Speaking to The Courier Mail about getting back into the saddle, Kym said: “Not because of Michala, God bless her, but because the best way I can describe it is that it would be like me watching my boyfriend make out with another woman. That’s how it feels.”

“I’ve been Libby and Libby’s been me for 14 years on and off. We’ve grown up together.”

Kym explained her biggest challenge this year will be to take things slowly, saying: “I’m really, really careful now about not overdoing it.”

“And, emotionally and physically, not putting myself into situations that could be hurtful or harmful to my health. I just want to stay healthy.”

She went on: “It was a slow progression to building up my fitness again. I was completely broken.”

Neighbours fans will be delighted to know that Kym has no plans to disappear again any time soon. “I’ve been with this show half my life and it’s just looking so good and I’m so proud to still be a part of it,” she said.

“I want to be the next Anne Haddy. There are worse places to be, my friend. I’m pretty happy where I am.”

Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s new weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop

Get all the latest soap gossip delivered straight to your door. Subscribe to Soaplife magazine today