VIEWERS were devastated when it was announced characters Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell would be killed off on EastEnders.
As irmãs, jogado por Samantha Womack e Rita Simons, were died in an emotional episode on New Year’s Day 2017. But how did they die, why did show bosses kill them off and have they made any surprise appearances? Here is all you need to know…
Who were Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders?
Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell arrived on Albert Square in 2007.
Introduced by show producer Diederick Santer, they were the cousins of Phil and Grant Mitchell.
Much hype was made about their arrival and the pair soon took over duties as temporary barmaids for the Queen Vic.
Ronnie then took over the Walford nightclub with her boyfriend Jack Branning, who she eventually went on to marry – before dying on her wedding day.
During their time on the show, the pair were involved in explosive storylines.
These included baby swapping, affairs, child abuse, mental illness and drug use.
How and when did Ronnie and Roxy die on EastEnders?
The emotional episode started with joy as it appeared Ronnie was finally about to get her happy ending as she prepared to tie the knot to Jack Branning – but it didn’t take long before the big day took a turn for the worse.
After a drunk Roxy decided to take a swim, she soon found herself in trouble.
Ronnie jumped into the pool to save her but the dress weighed her down and the pair met their untimely deaths by drowning together.
Three months later, Eastenders boss Sean O’Connor revealed the reason why the pair had to die, instead of just leaving Walford.
Ele disse: “[Ronnie and Roxy] were not the sort of characters that would leave in the back of a taxi.
“We wanted to give them an operatic ending.”
Why did Samantha Womack and Rita Simons leave EastEnders?
Both Samantha and Rita left EastEnders to pursue other projects, but they have differing views on whether their exit came at the right time.
Samantha quit first back in August, with Rita revealing she was leaving a few days later.
This was Samantha’s second exit from the show as she left in 2011, after her baby swapping storyline saw her suffer verbal abuse in the street, before returning in 2013.
Speaking about her departure, Rita told the Express: “It was mutual, for a start, so you know, I wanted to go. A new boss came in, he wanted us to go, which we were all happy with.
“I had to get out of there, it was weird. I knew I had to get out of there because as an actor I needed to spread my wings.”
Samantha, porém, thinks that she and Rita were the victims of clashing storyline schemes by feckless EastEnders bosses – quem didn’t like her fighting to protect Ronnie’s “authenticity”.
Meanwhile EastEnders boss Sean O’Connor, who has now been fired, said the girls were written out as their “characters were exhausted”.
How did EastEnders fans react to their deaths?
EastEnders fans have mourned the loss of the Mitchell sisters.
After the episode had screened, viewers threatened to boycott the BBC soap when the sisters drowned.
Um espectador tuitou: “Roxy must have had about three mentions since she died 3 weeks ago.
Enquanto outro adicionado: “Notice how it was all about Ronnie and Jack. Like has #eastenders completely forgot that they also killed off Roxy?”
Taking to her Twitter page, ela escreveu: “Don’t watch Enders anymore so forgive me if I’m misinformed.
“But from what I hear.. is ANYONE mourning Roxy on the square? Poor cow.”
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What was the conspiracy theory about Ronnie and Roxy?
A crazy new EastEnders fan theory swept the Internet in September 2017 – that Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell were still alive.
The conspiracy theory claims the women faked their deaths to go and live it up in Ibiza.
After a fan tweeted the sisters could come back from the dead just like Kathy Beale, a Twitter account in Ronnie’s name replied: “That’s true. Kathy faked her death. So did we! Me and Roxy live in Ibiza and live with @AuntBabe_Vic”.
There was further speculation when the sisters appeared to make a chilling visit to Albert Square.
Fans rushed to Twitter to post a snapshot of the bizarre moment – and even got confirmation from Ronnie herself that she had appeared.
Both wearing black, the sisters were seen in the foreground as “extras” during a chat between evil tormentor Max Branning and Kathy Beale.
Contudo, the Twitter account attributed to Ronnie Mitchell – which confirmed they’d come “back for a visit” – was just a joke account.