Natalie Cassidy won't leave 'EastEnders' until the day she dies.
The 34-year-old actress - who has portrayed the role of Sonia Fowler on and off for 23 years - initially left the show at the beginning of 2006 in order to focus her attention on her theatre work but has admitted she regrets leaving the programme when she did and is adamant she'll now remain on the soap until she's no longer fit enough to do so.
Speaking to Inside Soap magazine, she said: "I'd been on the show for 14 years, and it was just time to have a little explore outside.
"If I had my time again, I probably wouldn't have left. I'm here until I die now!"
Natalie took some time away from the soap last year in order to give birth to her second child Joanie, 10 months, but is looking forward to heading back to the square.
She explained: "Honestly, it's just like coming home. Sometimes I feel more at home here than I do in my own home. I've always felt like women have the right to have a baby and go back to work, so it didn't ever cross my mind that I wouldn't come back ...
"I have a very good baby who sleeps really well, so it's great.
"Also when Sonia returns, initially it's going to be about her helping Dot and being there for Bex, so it's not huge amounts of work for me. It's nice!"
And, although fans last saw Sonia in a relationship with Tina Carter (Luisa Bradshaw-White), Natalie would like to see her alter ego date Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami).
She said: "Who knows where she's going next? People say she is a lesbian, but obviously she is bisexual and that's pretty clear now. Personally I'd like to see Sonia and Kush get together. I think they'd make a good couple!"
Tagged in Natalie Cassidy