EastEnders star Rita Simons is leaving the BBC One soap after a nine year stint as Roxy Mitchell.
Confirmation of Simons’ departure from a spokesperson connected to the serial comes just days after it was reported that Samantha Womack is leaving her role of Ronnie Mitchell. The Mitchell sisters will bow out in the same storyline.
“We can confirm that Rita Simons will be leaving EastEnders. Having joined the show in 2007, Rita immediately won the hearts of the audience in the role of Roxy Mitchell and between her and Samantha Womack they created one of the most iconic duos EastEnders has ever seen.
“Alongside Samantha, Rita was recently offered to take part in the same big storyline that will see the Mitchell sisters depart Walford, but we will not be releasing any further details at this time. We wish Rita all the best for the future.” – EastEnders Spokesperson
Ronnie arrived in the Square with sister Roxy to spice up the Mitchell family
Ronnie and Roxy with their mum Glenda
Rita made her first appearance as Roxy in July 2007.
Early storylines saw Roxy become friends with Christian Clarke (John Partridge) and enter into a relationship with Sean Slater (Robert Kazinsky). At Christmas 2008 an attempt to conceal her daughter’s paternity after a one night stand with Ronnie’s partner Jack (Scott Maslen) went horribly wrong when the truth was exposed via DNA results in a Christmas cracker. Roxy’s manipulative father Archie (Larry Lamb), whose exploits Roxy was often naïve to, was behind the stunt.
Following Archie’s death in 2009, Roxy inherited his wealth but mismanaged the fortune. Roxy’s more recent storylines include a relationship with Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) who left her for Kat (Jessie Wallace), an abusive relationship with Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) and becoming a drugs mule.
Ronnie and Roxy’s final scenes are expected to be aired early next year.