BBC Weakest Link’s Rita Simons famous uncle, his pop career and his mental health struggles

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Rita Simons was one of EastEnders’ biggest stars, playing Albert Square’s Roxy Mitchell for over a decade.

The 44-year-old has lived an interesting life, from a 14-year marriage to a heartbreaking divorce.

Before he appeared on Weakest Link, we take a look back at his life – including a very famous relative.

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Soap fans will recognize Rita as the feisty Roxy Mitchell.

The star brought a number of iconic stories to life during his years on the show, with his character eventually drowning in a swimming pool alongside his on-screen sister Ronnie, My reports from London.

Rita was born in Leytonstone, east London, to Susan and Mark Simons. She has an older brother named Ben.

Rita married hairstylist Theo Silverston in August 2004 and the couple share twin daughters, but they separated in 2018.

Behind the scenes of his final EastEnders scenes, the star was coping with the end of his 14-year marriage, working nonstop and battling depression and insomnia.

After doing I’m A Celeb in 2018 and getting into work, things took a turn. In 2019, while performing in the play The House On Cold Hill, she had a nervous breakdown.

She before said to the mirror : “My mind has gone to some big dark places.”

Luckily, she’s in a much better place now, recently revealing that she’s “the happiest I’ve ever been”.

Prior to her long stint on the hit show, Rita had made a number of minor appearances on television series, such as Sky One’s Dream Team in 2002 and Mile High in 2003.

What some fans might not know about Rita is that she has an amazing voice and even had a short-lived music career before EastEnders.

In the early 2000s, she was part of the girl group, [email protected], which released two singles, Airhead and Respectable.

Airhead reached number 18 on the UK Singles Chart while Respectable reached number 29.

The band supported Hear’Say and Steps on their arena tours in 2000/2001, but disbanded at the end of 2001.

When [email protected] disbanded, Rita joined two of the other band members to form a new girl group named Friday, before joining another group named Charli in 2002.

And Rita isn’t the only celebrity in her family. His uncle is Alan Sugar.

The billionaire businessman has been married to Ann Simons, Rita’s aunt, since 1968, and they share two sons and a daughter.

The Weakest Link airs Saturdays from 6.10pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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