Rita Si­mons on leav­ing Al­bert Square I didn’t want role to En­der

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - Richard Bar­ber

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.”

Anx­i­ety

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