The star has finally been able to move on
Her character’s Christmas death came as a shock to EastEnders fans – but Rita Simons has revealed that she has finally moved on after being written permanently out of the BBC One soap.
The actress played Roxy Mitchell for nearly 10 years before she died on New Year's Day along with her sister Ronnie in a grisly swimming pool accident.
And despite previously confessing that she was “gutted” to be killed off the show, she says she has now come to terms with the fact that Roxy won’t ever been returning.
"There's a strange sense of relief. The finality of it all makes it much easier to go, 'Right, what's coming up? What am I doing next?' And move on.
"I think a lot of [actors] who either died off-screen or didn't die at all spend the rest of their lives wondering if they'll go back, should they go back?
"This way it's much cleaner. And it is time to move on. That's exactly what I'm doing, and I'm loving it,” she said to The Guide.
While Roxy may be no more, at least Rita has a new lady to keep her mind occupied as she’s currently making her musical debut in Legally Blonde where she is playing hapless beautician Paulette Bonafonté.
And she admits she still turns to her former on-screen sister, Samantha Womack – who played Ronnie – for career advice.
“If I've ever got a question about musical theatre, I go to Sam," Rita said. "Even things like what digs should I book? Do you go home on a Sunday? Should I bring the kids up? She's basically lived a parallel life to me, which is weird.”
Roxy is gone, but she’ll never be forgotten…
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Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo! Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.