EastEnders actress Ellie Dadd has talked about what it was like to film with Rita Simons.
Rita’s character Roxy Mitchell died on New Year’s Day 2017, but made an emotional cameo appearance last month.
Roxy appeared as a figment of on-screen daughter Amy’s imagination in a scene where Amy was trying to get her mental health back on track following recent struggles.
In the first instalment of the soap’s new social media series, Nat’s Natters with Natalie Cassidy, Dadd revealed more about working with the former soap star.
“I was very, very lucky to work with Rita,” she said. “I’ve done a scene with Rita. She’s come running to me, hugged me – bear in mind I looked awful because I’d just been crying the scene before.
“It was so much fun having her on set. It was top secret, very top secret. Nobody knew.”
Kim Fox actress Tameka Empson also appeared on the episode, and spoke about how her character’s behaviour following her recent car crash has reflected her own experiences.
“In the ’90s I had a car crash,” she said. “I still think about it today. I still feel the impact. And you think you put it away, you think you’re okay but you’re not. And that’s what Kim has.
“She’s brushing it under the carpet… but bit by bit it plays back in the mind because it could have been a very different story. Potentially you could have somebody’s blood on your hands.”
The trio spoke about the importance of showing these storylines on TV, and how the soap consults with charities and experts before the scripts are written.
Empson summed it up: “It’s seeing [the struggle] from the inside and not being afraid to ask for help.”
EastEnders airs on Mondays – Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.