It was announced last week that Samantha Womack, who plays Ronnie Mitchell, will be leaving Walford for good – but it’s now been revealed that her on-screen sister Roxy Mitchell will also be exiting alongside her.
The BBC have confirmed today to Digital Spy that Rita Simons will be bowing out of the show after joining in 2007 at the same time as Samantha Womack.
An insider said, “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.”
A source also added, “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.”
New EastEnders boss, Sean O’Connor, has created a fitting, unforgettable exit storyline for the siblings, with some big twists and turns expected to come in the forseeable future.
When speaking to Digital Spy, another EastEnders spokesperson added, “Rita and Samantha created the iconic Mitchell sisters and with their undeniable chemistry, they immediately created a double act that the viewers fell in love with.
“But when they all sat down to work out where to take them, they all felt it was the right time to rest them. When you look back over nearly a decade and realise what they have been through, it seems that most avenues have been exhausted. So when Sean proposed his idea to them, Rita jumped at the opportunity to do the storyline. She even stated that the sisters should go out the same way they arrived – together.”
It’s been said that bosses wanted to keep both of their departures secret, however once Womack’s exit had been leaked, it was only a matter of time before people worked out Simons would be leaving too.
This news comes after the announcements of the departures of several other characters, including Ronnie Mitchell, Pam Coker, Les Coker, and Buster Briggs.
Since the news of her departure was announced, Rita Simons has spoken out on Twitter:
Thanku guys 4 all the continued love & support u have shown me (and Roxy) over the years. I'm so grateful for my time on EE. Love to u all❤️
— Rita Simons (@OfficialRita) August 18, 2016
EastEnders continues tonight (18th August), on BBC One.