The male residents of Albert Square are in for a treat as two stunning new arrivals will soon be mingling with the regulars at the Queen Vic. Samantha Janus and Rita Simons are set to join award-winning soap EastEnders as the feisty Mitchell sisters, cousins of Walford's resident tough-talking brothers, Grant and Phil.
Babes In The Wood actress Samantha plays elder sister Ronnie, while Rita, niece of The Apprentice's Sir Alan Sugar, has scored her first major TV role as Roxie. The pair are due to make their screen debut this summer when they turn up to see Phil, played by Steve McFadden, wed his love Stella.
The show's bosses have planned a series of dramatic storylines for the new characters, who, in true Mitchell style, bring with them a dark secret that could slip out any time. And, unsurprisingly, there is a fiery edge to their pretty exteriors. "They may be glamorous young women, but these girls are also Mitchells," says new EastEnders boss, Diederick Santer. "And (they) have all the strength of character and the unique moral code that this legendary name implies."
Winning the role of Roxie fulfils a lifelong ambition for 29-year-old Rita, who previously had cameo roles in London's Burning and Mile High. "I've always watched EastEnders and it's been my dream to be part of the Mitchell family," she says.
Meanwhile, Samatha, who shot to fame in sitcom Game On is equally as excited about playing Rita's on-screen sibling. "It's an amazing opportunity for me," reveals the 34-year-old mum-of two. "I can't wait to start causing lots of mischief."