NATALIE Cassidy returned to the EastEnders set today with a huge smile and told fans that "Sonia's back".
The 37-year-old actress looked thrilled to be back at work as she grinned from ear to ear in her latest snap.
The Sun previously revealed that fan favourite Natalie would not be seen on screen until early Spring after the soap’s writers decided to give her character Sonia Fowler a break.
The soap star updated her followers on social media sharing a photo of her beaming while as she made her way to work.
Natalie penned: "This smile is my 'I AM GOING TO WORK' smile."
The actress got into character by slipping into her on-screen character's favourite ensembles.
Wearing a beige cardigan and a floral blouse, Natalie said: "She's still got her cardigans, I've missed her."
She also wrote: "Soon as I put a cardigan on Sonia's back."
Natalie, 37, joined the soap in 1993 and has been on the Square ever since.
Show insiders revealed the break was not out of the ordinary but fans of the show may be disappointed.
A source explained: “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.
“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.”
At the end of last year Sonia had been seen struggling to cope as an NHS nurse.
She was seen snapping at colleagues and patients at the surgery and when she’s confronted over her behaviour she broke down in tears.
Last year Natalie told The Sun how the BBC soap had acted as her own drama school.
In an open letter, Natalie wrote: “I feel so privileged to have been associated with EastEnders for 26 years — it has been my drama school.
“Dame Barbara Windsor and Wendy Richard taught me everything I needed to know when I started.
“They taught me about respect for others in our workplace, and both repeatedly drummed it into me not to be late, to learn my lines and arrive on time.
“These strong matriarchs will never leave me. Strong women are the lynchpin of Albert Square.”
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