Eastenders actress Natalie Cassidy has admitted she was ‘naive’ to quit the soap after her character was involved in a lesbian storyline.

Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler on the soap, initially quit the show in 2007 after a storyline which saw her embark on an affair with another woman.

She told BBC Breakfast: “When I was younger actually – I think it was a little bit naive, but when I was 21, 22, I was a bit like, ‘Oh Sonia wouldn’t do that, Sonia wouldn’t do that’.

“As an actress and as the character I thought, ‘Well actually, I’m not sure if Sonia would do this’.

“Now, funnily enough, lovely Dominic [Treadwell-Collins] has invited me back – the exec producer of the show – and really it’s lovely”.

The star also revealed that despite her reservations, upon returning to the soap this year, her character will again become involved with another woman.

She said: “I don’t know where it’s going to go, but at the time it felt right for Sonia to do that. Sonia’s dabbled with women before in the past.”

“That’s why this works.”

Cassidy had previously said in 2010: “One of the reasons I left was because of the lesbian storyline I had. I felt that it wasn’t right for Sonia.

“Sometimes in soaps people are so keen to get a shocking story that the character gets forgotten.”