"Just so frightening": Kate Ritchie's heartbreaking confession

"Just so frightening": Kate Ritchie's heartbreaking confession

Kate Ritchie has opened up about her major fears when she left the soap Home and Away after 20 years on the show.

The star who played Sally Fletcher for more than two decades admitted to Anh Do on an episode of Anh's Brush With Fame, that she wasn’t sure she could “survive” if she walked away from the role.

Ritchie left Home And Away in 2008 at the age of 28, having played Sally since the show’s pilot episode, at just eight-years-old.

“I didn’t know where she ended and I began or vice versa, and I had to work out whether I was more than that,” said Ritchie.

She explained that it had “became really obvious” when it was time to finally leave the show.

“It was just so frightening. What do I actually do when someone doesn’t hand me a schedule on a Friday afternoon and tell me where to be on a Monday?

“And they were just the logistics that I knew I’d miss. I think it was the other stuff about missing the character and trying to figure out my identity without this other person, that was the stuff I hadn’t really considered too much and that hit me quite hard,” she said.

Kate Ritchie and the late Heath Ledger on the set of Home and Away. Image: Home and Away

The star is now 42, and found herself choking back tears as she recalled stepping away from the character of Sally Fletcher, who she described as her “best friend for 20 years”.

“She gave me purpose and a sense of achievement. I feel differently now, after loads of therapy,” she said.

“I thought the only thing I’d ever done of value in my life was when I was her. I was lost, and I wondered how I was going to survive without her. How were people going to react to me if I wasn’t Sally? Sally was a great person, a great friend and a great daughter … did people only feel something for me because they liked her?”

Ritchie has gone on to continue her work as an actor, but can also boast that she has since added TV host, children’s author and a radio host under her belt as well.

“I think the best thing to come out of all of this, is that I’m great without [Sally]. I nearly choked on the words! We’re all great without our security blankets,” she told Do.

Ritchie shared the clip from tonight’s episode to her Instagram account, admitting that she “worr[ies] so often of what people think. Of me revisiting the same old chapter of my life. The chapter people continue to ask me about and the one that defined me. Publicly and personally. One day I’ll move through that worry … But for now I’ll speak with Anh.”