Rita Simons on leaving Albert Square I didn’t want role to Ender
EASTENDERS star Rita Simons has admitted she was devastated by her character Ro Roxy Mitchell’s death. Rita, 40, was so upset by the New Year’s Day drowning w with screen sister Ronnie that she refused to w watch the funeral. Rita, who spe spent 10 years on Albert Square, has found it to too painful to tune into the soap since the deathsdeat on Ronnie’s wedding day. She is not bl blaming any one for writing her out and had b been considering leaving. But Rita did not want Roxy to die. She said: ““It wasn’t because I can’t come back. I won’ won’t have to spend the rest of my life wonderingwonder if I’ll get the call inviting me to return.”retu The star and Samantha Womack, 44, who play played Ronnie, had become best of friend friends since auditioning together. Rita said said: “We really loved those char- acters. We both found watching our death scene really distressing. It’s horribly strange to see yourself and your best friend floating dead in a swimming pool.
“I’ll always be grateful for a part that made me who I am today but the way Sam and I met our end was harsh, really traumatic.
“She’s like the sister I never had. One of the great sadnesses about leaving is I don’t see her nearly enough any more. I miss her.
“We’d work together all morning and then go off to get our nails done at lunchtime. We were inseparable.”
EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor has voiced what many viewers were thinking – that the death of the Mitchell sisters has seriously weakened the soap.
Rita is currently playing Paulette in a nationwide stage tour of the musical Legally Blonde, which is currently at Bromley, Kent.
Mum to twins Maiya and Jaimee, 11, Rita joked: “My husband Theo’s hairdressing salon is in Mill Hill and I’ll be all over the country. It’ll be a nightmare.”