rita simons samantha womack

EastEnders star Rita Simons pays lovely tribute to Samantha Womack on special milestone - see post

Can you believe it's been two years since they left Albert Square?

Sharnaz Shahid

Former EastEnders star Rita Simons felt pretty nostalgic on Thursday evening, taking to her Instagram page to send her on-screen sister Samantha Womack a lovely message. To mark the two-year anniversary since their departure from the BBC soap, the 41-year-old - who played Roxy Mitchell - shared a sweet throwback snap of their pair with the caption: "Two bloody years since me and @samzjanus popped our little Mitchell clogs. Got to keep her though. #R&R #sisters #TogetherForever."

The post was met with much reaction, with one follower writing: "I still am not over that decision to kill you guys off." Another said: "I honestly was shattered after that episode... And the show has never quite been the same again." A third post read: "Big mistake letting you two go! I miss you both and loved you on I’m a Celeb." A fourth fan added: "One of the biggest mistakes EastEnders ever made! There was so much mileage left in those two fantastic characters!"

MORE: Samantha Womack breaks silence on EastEnders departure

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. At the time of her exit, Rita expressed her sadness over saying goodbye to her character. "When Sean [O'Connor] brought the idea to me, it was like I knew I was being given a kick," she told The Sun. "I knew I needed to do it, and I'm a big believer in the universe guiding you to where you need to go. Obviously I knew that I couldn't stay there forever, and I didn't want to stay there forever."

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She also confessed that she was dreading not working with Samantha in the BBC soap again. "I know in my heart of hearts it's the right thing to do. I needed to get out. I needed to spread my wings," she noted, before adding: "I've spent more time with Sam than I have with my husband and my kids. The thought of leaving her breaks my heart."

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