Former EastEnders star Samantha Womack has confirmed that her marriage to fellow actor Mark Womack has been over for two years, but they are "co-existing happily" in the family home as "best friends".

In an interview with OK! magazine, Samantha Womack - best known for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in EastEnders - said: "Our family home is big enough and we're co-existing happily. There's no rush to change things.

"But now feels like the right time to be honest and admit we're no longer together."

The actors married in 2009, having first met on the set of the police drama series Liverpool 1 in 1998. They are parents to 19-year-old son Benjamin and 15-year-old daughter Lili Rose. Mark Womack, best known for his role as DI Mark Malone in Emmerdale, also has a 25-year-old son, Michael, from a previous relationship.

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Samantha Womack explained that they "decided that we didn't want to stay in a romantic relationship, but we liked our way of living".

"We have this beautiful house and we get a lot of time away from each other," she said. "We're still a family and we love and adore each other.

"He's still been the best relationship of my life and I think he would say the same of me.

"So we sat down with the kids and explained that we weren't going to be in a romantic relationship anymore, but we would stay best friends."

 "It's bizarre, but these have probably been the best years we've had as a family," she added.

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