Rita Simons will reprise her role as Roxy Mitchell in an upcoming episode of EastEnders.
Roxy, who died on the soap alongside her sister Ronnie in 2017, appears as “a figment of her daughter Amy Mitchell’s imagination” in the BBC show this week.
Simons, whose performance as the feisty member of the Mitchell family earned her a most popular newcomer gong at the National Television Awards in 2008, previously reprised playing Roxy in a voiceover cameo in May 2019.
On the soap during the last few weeks, the breakdown of Amy’s father Jack Branning’s marriage to Denise Fox, who is played by Diane Parish, has been causing confrontation in the family.
This hits boiling point in Thursday’s episode as Amy’s mental health struggles have been increasing.
The family then attend a group therapy session where the teenager is encouraged to open up about her emotions surrounding the loss of her mother.
Amy, played by Ellie Dadd, will then be seen zoning out before Roxy appears in what the BBC has described as “a figment of her imagination”.
Chris Clenshaw, executive producer at EastEnders, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome the fabulous Rita back to the iconic role of Roxy Mitchell for these special scenes.
“Although the character was last seen on-screen in January 2017, Roxy still remains a fan favourite. We know our audiences will be thrilled at her short return as Amy seeks some all-important answers from her mum at this point in the storyline.”
Simons has since gone on to compete in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, and appeared on shows including Celebrity Supermarket Sweep, Celebrity MasterChef and Pilgrimage.
The 46-year-old actress makes regular appearances on the stage and has been cast in Legally Blonde: The Musical as Paulette Bonafonte, as Miss Hedge in the musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and in Hairspray as Velma von Tussle.
Smooth-talking Branning, portrayed by Scott Maslen, was also married to Ronnie, played by Samantha Womack.
EastEnders airs on BBC One.