Sam Womack and Rita Simons have reacted to their on-screen deaths in EastEnders, while their co-stars have paid heartfelt tributes
EastEnders cast members have rallied around their co-stars Sam Womack and Rita Simon, whose characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell died in a swimming pool tragedy on New Year's Day.
Sam said in a tweet after the episode screened on Sunday night, she was 'honestly broken' and called their deaths an 'appropriate end to the darkest year ever'.
But while Sam was in bits at the Mitchell girls' deaths, her on-screen partner Scott Maslen (Jack Branning) said it was sad times, but he loved working with the actresses.
Meanwhile, Jake Wood, who has just returned to EastEnders as Max Branning, called the women 'amazingly talented'.
Danny Dyer, who plays Mick Carter, said their relationship was 'on screen chemistry personnified' and they were 'two beautifully complex EastEnders icons'.
Ominously, a clearly upset Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell) said: "I really don't have words right now. But words will come.."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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