Roxy Mitchell actress Rita Simons to follow on-screen sister out of Walford
EastEnders actress Rita Simons is to leave the soap after nine years as Roxy Mitchell.
A spokesman for the BBC soap confirmed to the Press Association that a mutual decision had been made regarding her exit.
This follows news last week that Samantha Womack, who plays her on-screen sister Ronnie Mitchell, is also departing.
A statement from the show read: "We can confirm that Rita Simons will be leaving EastEnders.
"Having joined the show in 2007, Rita immediately won the hearts of the audience in the role of Roxy Mitchell and between her and Samantha Womack they created one of the most iconic duos EastEnders has ever seen.
"Alongside Samantha, Rita was recently offered to take part in the same big storyline that will see the Mitchell sisters depart Walford, but we will not be releasing any further details at this time. We wish Rita all the best for the future."
Following the announcement, Simons wrote on Twitter: "Thanku guys 4 all the continued love & support u have shown me (and Roxy) over the years. I'm so grateful for my time on EE. Love to u all."
In her role as Roxy, Simons has been involved in several major storylines over the years, often involving her character's relationships with the likes of Sean Slater and Alfie Moon.
The 39-year-old actress has also tackled an attempted rape storyline, which saw Roxy attacked by Dean Wicks.
Womack was revealed to be leaving the long-running serial drama last week and will say goodbye to Albert Square next year.
She is thought to have made the decision after the BBC soap's boss Sean O'Connor offered her a dramatic exit plot.
Walford stalwart Peggy Mitchell, played by Dame Barbara Windsor, said her final farewell this year after taking her own life in a controversial storyline.
It marked the TV veteran's departure from the soap after playing the former Queen Vic landlady on and off since 1994.
EastEnders' executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins stepped down from his position in May and was replaced by The Archers' editor O'Connor.