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Rita Joanne Simons (born 10 March 1977) is an English actress, singer, and model from London, who is known for playing Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2007 to 2017, when her character was killed off. Simmons returned for a voiceover for the character Roxy on the 3rd May 2019. For her performance on the show Simons received many accolades, including the 2008 National Television Award for Most Popular Newcomer.

Rita Simons
Rita Simons 2016.jpg
Simons in 2016
Rita Joanne Simons

(1977-03-10) 10 March 1977 (age 42)
London, England
Other namesRita Silverston
Years active2000–present
Known forRoxy Mitchell on EastEnders (2007–2017, 2019)
TelevisionMile High
Dream Team
London's Burning
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
Theo Silverston (m. 2004)

On 12 November 2018, Simons was confirmed to be participating in that year’s series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!.[1] She was the fourth to be eliminated on 4 December 2018.

Personal lifeEdit

Simons was born to Susan (née Franks) and Mark Simons. Both of her parents are Jewish. She has an older brother, Ben. Through her paternal aunt's marriage, Simons is the niece of billionaire businessman Lord Sugar,[2] who is best known for appearing in the BBC reality series The Apprentice.

In August 2004, she married hairdresser Theo Silveston.[3] They have twin daughters.

Simons is best friends with co-star Samantha Womack, who played her on-screen sister Ronnie Mitchell.[4]

In March 2008, it was reported that Simons was diagnosed with scoliosis, and that she is two inches shorter than she would be without it.[5]

In July 2018, Simons revealed that she was suffering from ADHD, OCD, anxiety and insomnia.[6]



Before her acting career, Simons was in the band Girls@Play, who had a couple of hit singles before splitting up. Their songs included "Airhead" and a cover of Mel and Kim's "Respectable".[7] Simons then joined a different group called Charli with three other members, including Shar from the Paradiso Girls, and released a single titled "Feel Me".[8]


Simons has made appearances in the Sky 1 dramas Dream Team (2002) and Mile High (2003; as Hannah), as well as the ITV drama London's Burning.[2]

On 11 May 2007, it was announced that she would be joining the cast of EastEnders as Roxy Mitchell, alongside Samantha Womack who played Roxy's sister Ronnie Mitchell. Of her role, Simons said: "I've always watched EastEnders and it's been my dream to become part of the Mitchell family."[9][10] Simons temporarily departed from EastEnders in late 2015 (the character departed from screens from 1 January to 4 May 2016), allowing the actress to take part in a Snow White pantomime at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, over the 2015/16 Christmas and New Year period.[11] In August 2016, it was announced that Simons had quit EastEnders along with Samantha Womack. Her on-screen character Roxy Mitchell drowned in a swimming pool in an episode broadcast on New Year's Day 2017, along with her sister Ronnie.[12][13]

Simons appeared as Paulette Bonafonte in the 2017-18 UK tour of Legally Blonde: the Musical in 2017.

Charity workEdit

In December 2009, Simons visited her old secondary school, Watford Grammar School for Girls, to open the Christmas fair.[14]

In December 2010, Simons launched the RNID Christmas Concert where she announced that her five-year-old daughter is deaf.

In July 2011, Simons held an autograph session at the St Nicholas Primary School summer fair in Elstree.[15]

In December 2011, Simons hosted the annual Action on Hearing Loss concert along with the Mayor of Camden.

She appeared on a Big Star's Little Star episode, broadcast on 1 April 2015, and won £13,000 for charity.


Year Show Role Notes
2002 Dream Team Prostitute 1 episode
2003 Mile High Hannah 1 episode
2007–2017, 2019 EastEnders Roxy Mitchell Former series regular
2018 The Krays: Dead Man Walking Lisa Prescott Film
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Contestant Eliminated fourth
2019 The House on Cold Hill Caro Harcourt Theatre


Year Show Role Notes
2016 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Queen Ivannah
2017 Aladdin Scheherazade
2017 Legally Blonde: The Musical Paulette Bonafonte
2018 Sleeping Beauty Carabosse
2019 The House on Cold Hill Caro Harcourt
2019 Everybody's Talking About Jamie Miss Hedge [16]


Year Award Category Result
2008 2008 National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer Won[17]
2008 Inside Soap Awards Best Newcomer Won[18]
2008 Digital Spy Soap Awards Best Newcomer Won[19]
Best On-Screen Partnership (with Samantha Janus) Won[19]
2008 TV Now Awards Favourite Newcomer to Irish (with Samantha Janus) Won[20][21]
2008 British Soap Awards Best Newcomer Nominated[22]
Best On-Screen Partnership (with Samantha Janus) Nominated[22]
Sexiest Female Nominated[22]
2008 TV Quick and TV Choice Awards Best Newcomer Nominated[23]
2009 2009 All About Soap Bubble Awards Fatal Attraction (with Robert Kazinsky) Nominated[24]
2009 TV Now Awards Favourite Female Soap Star Nominated[25]
2011 2011 British Soap Awards Sexiest Female Shortlisted[26]


  1. ^ Lewis, Rebecca (12 November 2018). "Meet the I'm a Celebrity 2018 campmates from Rita Simons to Harry Redknapp". Metro. Retrieved 16 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Samantha Janus lands EastEnders role". Digital Spy. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  3. ^ Neil, Beth (30 April 2008). "EastEnders Roxy on being a mum and the Square's biggest slapper". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ Shields, Danielle (25 August 2016). "Soap stars who are BFFs in real life – Sam Womack and Rita Simons set to exit EastEnders together". OK!. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  5. ^ "EastEnders star suffering from scoliosis". The Sun. London: News Group Newspapers. 18 March 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
  6. ^ Fillingham, Hanna (22 July 2018). "Ex-EastEnders star Rita Simons opens up about terrifying health condition". Hello!. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 228. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7.
  8. ^ "'Charli' Music Video W Shar From The Paradiso Girls!". YouTube. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
  9. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (26 May 2007). "Sugar's niece joins Enders". Jewtastic. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  10. ^ "The Mitchell Sisters". Daily Mirror. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007.
  11. ^ Britcher, Chris (11 January 2016). "Marlowe Theatre panto smashes box office records as Snow White packs a punch". Kent News. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  12. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (1 January 2017). "EastEnders kills off Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell with a grisly swimming pool ending". Digital Spy. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  13. ^ Minn, Hayley (2 January 2017). "Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell's EastEnders death explained: How they actually drowned". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Watford Grammar School For Girls" (PDF). Watford Grammar School For Girls. December 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 August 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  15. ^ Darlington, Josh (14 July 2011). "Eastenders star Rita Simons helps raise money for St Nicholas Primary School in Elstree". Borehamwood & Elstree Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "National Television Awards: The Winners". Digital Spy. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2010.
  18. ^ Green, Kris (29 September 2008). "'Enders cleans up at Inside Soap Awards". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 March 2009.
  19. ^ a b Green, Kris (21 March 2008). "Digital Spy Soap Awards 2008: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Favourite Newcomer to Irish". TV Now. Archived from the original on 13 June 2008.
  21. ^ "Rita Simons Winner of best newcomer TV Now Awards 2008 held at the Mansion House Dublin, Ireland". Alamy. Archived from the original on 4 January 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  22. ^ a b c "The British Soap Awards 2008: The Winners". Digital Spy. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Rita Simons – Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  24. ^ "All About Soap 'Bubble' winners announced". Digital Spy. 31 March 2009. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  25. ^ "Favourite Female Soap Star". TV Now. Archived from the original on 7 April 2009.
  26. ^ "British Soap Awards 2011: The Winners". Digital Spy. 14 May 2011.

External linksEdit