EastEnders fans were heartbroken when it was announced earlier this year that popular characters Roxy and Ronnie were being written out of the series once and for all.
But actress Rita Simons – who plays Roxy – says she is actually happy about with her upcoming grisly departure.
Rita and her onscreen sis Samantha Womack are due to totter out of Albert Square in the new year after after Roxy and Ronnie fall out with each other over Christmas.
However, while Rita admits she was always keen to do something new, it was the arrival of fresh blood to the EastEnders production team that saw their characters eventually being written out of the series and gave her a much-needed “kick up the bum”.
“A new boss [Sean O’Connor] came in, he wanted us to go, which we were all happy with,” she told the Herts and Essex Observer. “It was mutual, for a start, so you know, I wanted to go,”
“I had to get out of there, it was weird. I knew I had to get out of there because as an actor I needed to spread my wings.”
“All this lot here, they’re my family, so it’s really hard to break away when you are so attached to your cast members, but I knew I had to go,” she admitted.
While the ultimate decision to kill off Roxy and Ronnie was the idea of Sean O’Connor, Rita is philosophical about the move and says she will always remain close to her castmates.
“When [the new producer] came to me with the idea I was ready to take it,” she explained.
“I thought this is the kick up the bum I needed to go.
“So I have to just take a leap of faith. Yes, it’s a big thing for a soap actor, but I have faith.
“I’ll be best mates with them ’til the end.”
Now out of the show, Rita is looking forward to embarking every challenge that comes her way.
First up is a role in the panto Snow White And The Seven Dwarves and next year she is due to appear in the touring version of hit West End musical Legally Blonde.