Samantha Womack

Samantha Womack breaks silence on EastEnders departure

Sharnaz Shahid

She left EastEnders towards the end of last year in what is believed to be one of the soap's most dramatic exits. But three months on, Samantha Womack has finally broken her silence on her character Ronnie Mitchell's fatal ending. Appearing on Thursday's This Morning, the 44-year-old said: "After nine years, that person's really close to you - the character, I mean. And the family's really close to you. So having to say goodbye to everyone is really, really hard. The best way is just to launch into a new job."


Samantha Womack left EastEnders towards the end of last year after 10 years on the show

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The actress also revealed that she's managed to stay in very close contact with her on-screen sister Rita Simons, who played the vivacious Roxy Mitchell. "I speak to Rita about six times a day," she added. "You can't give up something like that. We were together for such a long time, and she feels like my sister still, so I am grateful actually. I came away with the most amazing friend ever." Revealing she was pleased with the ending, Samantha remarked: "I wouldn't have wanted to end up in Ongar. No offence to the people of Ongar! I just think if a character ends up anywhere, wherever it may be, it's not a punchy ending. So it was definitely punchy."


The actress talked about her departure on Thursday's This Morning

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The much-loved stars first appeared as Roxy and Ronnie back in 2007, when they were introduced as the cousins of Phil and Grant Mitchell. They went on to become popular members of the show in the decade since they arrived. Last year, former co-star and EastEnders stalwart Barbara Windsor publicly criticised the decision to write the characters out of show. "It wasn't the girls' choice," the 79-year-old actress told The Sun. "It's the new producer's decision. I'm sure he will be good for the show, but that is a mistake. When I heard I was shocked." In response, Samantha later tweeted: "Feeling loved and supported by my Auntie P. Love her forever."