Rita Simons and Samantha Womack's 'emotional' EastEnders exit

Rita Simons has opened up about her and her 'EastEnders' co-star Samantha Womack's "emotional" exit from the BBC One soap

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Rita as Roxy

Rita Simons as Roxy Mitchell

Rita Simons and Samantha Womack cried over their 'EastEnders' exit.

The soap stars, who play siblings Roxy and Ronnie Mitchell in the BBC One soap, were overwhelmed with emotion filming their final scenes after nine years in Albert Square, and had to take it in turns to support each other.

On their final days on set, Rita (Roxy) said: "She'd have a day where she couldn't stop crying and I would be really cold and strong and I would look after her. Then the next day it would be me who'd be set off by a packet of coffee or whatever and she would be strong.

"We've taken it in turns to be upset because one of us needs to be strong for the other."

Rita, 39, and Samantha, 44, spent their final few days as co-stars indulging in retail therapy and after their "emotionally" draining final filming session they downed gin and were left with "mixed emotions" about leaving.

Rita, who joined the show in 2007, told The Sun newspaper: "It was tiring. Emotionally tiring. I finished on Wednesday night. We were on location and then I came home on Thursday.

"Me and Sam spent a lovely two days, when we weren't filming, we sat in bed together, we had breakfast together, we went shopping around Woodstock. We were like a couple of old ladies. Then we went and did our final scenes, got back into bed, had a couple of gins, and it was such mixed emotions.

"I can only explain it as the most exhilarating and upsetting experience - it kind of goes hand in hand."

And, although Rita is looking forward to whatever she takes on next, she admits it was heartbreaking leaving behind the crew members she has worked with for several years.

She said: "I'm so exhilarated to be moving on and doing other stuff, but I left probably 150 crew that I adore - every single one of them, make-up, lighting, costume. I love them all, I've known them all for 10 years, day in, day out.

"It was that that kind of broke my heart, leaving them."

Ronnie (Samantha) and Roxy (Rita) are set to meet their "grisly end" in a swimming pool at New Year, but that doesn't mean they won't work together in the future.

Rita said: "I can't imagine life without her. She's my sister. I talk about her like she's my sister. She's one of my best friends and she will be until the end now, whether she likes it or not.

"But I do have a feeling we will work together again. I don't know when or where but my feelings are generally right, so yeah I'm sure that's going to happen."

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