Rita Joanne Simons (born 10 March 1977) is an English actress, singer, and model from London, who plays Roxy Mitchell in the BBC soap opera EastEnders.[2]

Early and personal life

Simons is the niece of multi-millionaire businessman Lord Sugar,[3] who is best known in the BBC reality series The Apprentice. She has an older brother, Ben Simons. In August 2006[4] she married hairdresser Theo Silveston, whom she met through a friend when she was 19, and with whom she has twin daughters, Jaimee Leah Silveston and Maiya Sammy Silveston (born April 2006; Maiya has been deaf since birth).[5] Simons is best friends with co-star Samantha Womack, who played her on-screen sister Ronnie Mitchell.[6] In March 2008, The Sun reported that Simons was diagnosed with scoliosis disorder, which causes the spine to bend side to side, and is the reason why Simons is two inches shorter than she should be.[7]


Simons has made appearances in the Sky1 dramas Mile High and Dream Team, as well as the ITV drama London's Burning.[3] 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."[2][8] 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".[9] 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".[10]

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

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] After it was announced that Simons would star in the ninth series of ITV's Benidorm, Simons will once again take part in a Snow White pantomime over the 2016/17 Christmas period at St Albans.[12]

Awards and nominations

Simons' portrayal of Roxy Mitchell won her "Most Popular Newcomer" at the National Television Awards. She then won "Best Newcomer" at the Digital Spy Soap Awards along with "Best On-Screen Partnership" (with Samantha Womack). Simons then won "Best Newcomer" at the 2008 TV Now Awards. She was nominated for "Best Newcomer", "Sexiest Female" and "Best On-Screen Partnership" (with Samantha Womack) at the British Soap Awards,[13] and then won the award for "Best Newcomer" at the Inside Soap Awards.[14] She won "Fatal Attraction" (with Rob Kazinsky) at the All About Soap Bubble Awards, for their portrayal of Roxy's and Sean's rocky relationship.[15] Simons was shortlisted for Sexiest Female at British Soap Awards in 2011/[16]

Charity work

In December 2009, Simons visited her old secondary school, Watford Grammar School for Girls to open the Christmas fair.[17] In December 2010, Simons launched the RNID Christmas Concert where she announced that her five-year-old daughter, Maiya is deaf.[18] In July 2011, Simons held an autograph session at the St Nicholas Primary School summer fair in Elstree.[19] In December 2011, Simons hosted the annual Action on Hearing Loss concert along with the Mayor of Camden.


  1. ^ "EastEnders' Rita Simons reveals her exercise obsession - but explains why she won't step on the scales". Mail Online (Associated Newspapers). 16 December 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Sugar’s niece joins Enders". Jewtastic. 26 May 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007. 
  3. ^ a b "Samantha Janus lands EastEnders role". Digital Spy. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007. 
  4. ^ EastEnders Roxy on being a mum and the Square's biggest slapper[dead link], Daily Mirror, 30 April 2008
  5. ^ "Rita Simons". IMDb. Retrieved 28 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Rita Simons and Samantha Janus — Digital Spy Soap Awards 2008". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "Eastenders star suffering from scoliosis". The Sun (London: News Group Newspapers). 18 March 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  8. ^ "The Mitchell Sisters". Daily Mirror. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 228. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  10. ^ "'Charli' Music Video W Shar From The Paradiso Girls!". YouTube. 26 January 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Kent News, UK: kentnews.co.uk, 2016 
  12. ^ http://www.alban-arena.co.uk/events/snow-white-the-seven-dwarfs/
  13. ^ "The British Soap Awards 2008: The Winners". digitalspy.co.uk. 4 May 2008. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Sky Living - Sky.com". sky.com. 
  15. ^ "All About Soap 'Bubble' winners announced". Digital Spy. 
  16. ^ "British Soap Awards 2011: The Winners". Digital Spy. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ Nathan, Sara (December 2010). "Rita Simons". Daily Mail (London). 
  19. ^ Darlington, Josh (14 July 2011). "Eastenders star Rita Simons helps raise money for St Nicholas Primary School in Elstree (From Borehamwood Times)". Borehamwood & Elstree Times. Retrieved 17 July 2011.