EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy beams as she returns to set and declares ‘Sonia’s back’

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EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy beamed as she announced her return to the soap’s set on Tuesday 9 February.

The 37 year old soap actress, who has played Sonia Jackson on an off since 1993, shared a gorgeous photo of herself smiling from ear to ear as she opened up on her joy of returning to the soap.

Natalie shared the photo with her 130,000 followers on her Instagram story and wrote underneath: “This smile is my ‘I AM GOING TO WORK’ smile.” She then tagged the EastEnders’ official Instagram page.

On her way into the set, Natalie wore a face covering and stopped to take a snap with one of the BBC’s security guards.

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As she posted the image on her Instagram story, the soap star wrote: “My mate @taylormade.2006 missed seeing each day.”

Moments later, after undergoing her transformation into Sonia, Natalie posted a clip of herself in costume and smiling as she said: “She’s still got her cardigans! I’ve missed her.”

Writing on top of the video, Natalie added: “Soon as I put a cardigan on – Sonia’s back” followed by a high five emoji.

Natalie took a break from the soap at the beginning of this year and it was revealed she wouldn’t reappear on Albert Square until spring.

In the BBC soap, fans saw the stress of the pandemic get to Sonia as she struggled with the stress of being overworked in the Covid-19 ward at Walford General.

During an emotional scene, where Sonia took Ian Beale's blood pressure, the nurse hit out at Ian.

Walford businessman Ian compared running the Queen Victoria pub to working on a coronavirus ward, to which caused Sonia to blast him.

She said: “People are dying” before telling him to seek treatment from his doctor.

Later, Sonia made the decision to take some time away from her hospital job to visit her daughter Rebecca Fowler, who is currently travelling in India.

A source told The Sun Online of Natalie’s break from the soap: “Natalie like other actors on EastEnders was given a break for a few months.

“In real time she is back filming in the next few weeks but on screen she will leave and be off for a few months because the show is filmed so far ahead.

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“She’ll be back again early Spring. Giving actors on the show breaks is nothing unusual and when it’s a quieter period for their character, it makes more sense to rest the characters rather than them not doing much on set.”

Sonia isn’t the only character to have left Albert Square recently as Ian Beale and Tina Carter, who is suspected to have been murdered by Gray Atkins, have both disappeared from the square.

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