BBC Eastenders star Samantha Womack has revealed she has been diagnosed with breast cancer in a deeply moving tribute to Olivia Newton-John who died on Monday.

The British-born singer died 'peacefully' at her ranch in Southern California on Monday morning at the age of 73, with her husband confirming her death on social media.

She was surrounded by family and friends, John Easterling said.

Dame Olivia is best known for her starring role as Sandy in the 1978 film Grease, in which she appeared opposite Travolta, who played Danny Zuko.

Following the news, Samantha, 49, recalled meeting the Grease star, who was a cancer campaigner, adding: “I now start my own battle with this disease.”

Samantha Womack reveals cancer diagnosis in moving tribute to Olivia Newton-John

In a tribute to the late actress, the soap star shared a photo on Twitter of Dame Olivia and her daughter Chloe, taken when they went to see Womack play Sandy in the West End production of Grease.

She wrote: “This was the most magical of evenings. Olivia and Chloe had come to see Grease in London and we had dinner together afterwards.

“I was so excited and in awe, she was my childhood.

“I now start my own battle with this disease and am left feeling deeply moved. #OliviaNewtonJohn”.

Womack is best known for her role as Ronnie Mitchell in long-running BBC soap opera EastEnders.

She has also starred in a number of films, television series and stage shows including comedy drama Mount Pleasant and the film spy series Kingsman.

She initially planned a career in singing and represented the UK in the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest, performing A Message To Your Heart to finish 10th.