EastEnders actress Rita Simons has said that she will miss co-star Barbara Windsor when she leaves the show next year.
The 32-year-old actress [pictured left], who plays Windsor’s character Peggy’s niece Roxy Mitchell in the London-based soap, described her forthcoming exit from the show as a “real blow.”
Speaking to Inside Soap she said “I’m not over Larry Lamb leaving, so it was a real blow. For me, Barbara is the show and it’ll be very strange when she goes.”
Barbara Windsor has played Peggy Mitchell in EastEnders since 1994 but announced last month she planned to depart from the show after 15 years. She will remain on-screen into the new year and bosses have promised a memorable exit for the iconic landlady.
“I’d hate to see Peggy die a gruesome death, so hopefully she’ll go with the door left open – then if she ever wants to come back, she can. It hasn’t sunk in that Barbara’s leaving because we’ve been working together so much. But it’s her decision and whatever she wants to do, we’ll all support,” – Simons added.
Simons is not the first EastEnders star to speak out about Windsor’s departure, June Brown who plays Dot Branning in the BBC One soap described the exit as “sad” while Steve McFadden who plays Windsor’s screen son Phil Mitchell said he felt the actress had made the right decision. Other stars to speak out about the exit include Martine McCutcheon who played Peggy’s daughter-in-law Tiffany in the soap who expressed similar sentiments to McFadden and London Mayor Boris Johnson who made a cameo appearance in the soap in October – he described the Carry On icon’s impending exit from the BBC One flagship show as “tragic.”