EastEnders star Natalie Cassidy says her co-star Steve McFadden snubbed her after she made the decision to leave the hit soap.

Natalie - who plays Sonia Fowler - discussed her time on set during an episode of Secrets with the Square last night.

The soap star, 37, played Sonia since 1993, and her character has seen a lot of development through the years.

She left the hit soap in 2007, but says the decision saw Steve - who plays Phil Mitchell - refused to talk to her soon after.

She said Steve was disappointed with her decision to pursue other ventures, and didn't do a great job of hiding his emotions.

Natalie says Steve refused to speak to her after she quit in 2007

In fact, he tried to talk her out of it. Natalie recalled: "When I was thinking of leaving when I was 18, I remember sitting down with him.

"He said 'listen, you don't know what you've got here, you don't want to go anywhere, there's nothing better than this, trust me.'"

But despite the flak she received from Steve, Natalie went ahead with her decision.

According to Natalie, Steve - who played Phil Mitchell - snubbed her after she left

She recalled: "I came back and said 'Steve, Steve, I done it.' He said 'what have you done' and I said 'I'm leaving.' He wouldn't talk to me.

"And when he says this story he still gets annoyed now, he says 'She just never listened to me, she completely ignored my advice'. He was right."

In a bombshell revelation, Natalie confessed she would have loved her character to have a romantic storyline with Phil.

Natalie plays Sonia Fowler on EastEnders

She said: "Yeah I mean it's a strange one, but I'm going to say it, I would have loved Sonia and Phil to get together."

Host Stacey Dooley began laughing at the bizarre comment, but Natalie was quick to say this was not a laughing matter.

Natalie has been back on the soap for years now, as she reprised her role as Sonia Fowler

She added: "No, no I'm being serious because it's all for selfish reasons, but I love working with Steve.

"You've got to up your game, and he's such a nice guy to work with. He always helped me from a very young age."

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