|Portrayed by||Samantha Janus|
|Created by||Dominic Treadwell-Collins|
|Introduced by||Diederick Santer|
|First appearance||24 July 2007|
|Date of birth||7 July 1974|
|Status||In a relationship|
|Home||89b George Street|
In April 2007, press rumours began circulating about the introduction of two new characters, Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell. They would be an extension of the long-running and popular Mitchell family. Dubbed the Mitchell sisters, Ronnie and Roxy were to be the nieces of Peggy Mitchell's (Barbara Windsor) late husband Eric. In an exclusive in The Sun newspaper, a BBC insider reportedly commented, "Ronnie and Roxy are set to cause mayhem this summer. They haven't been cast yet but we've got big plans for them over the coming months. EastEnders is about to get a whole lot more glamorous."
Though the BBC initially declined to comment on the new characters to the press, the rumour was confirmed on the official EastEnders website, where it was revealed that actresses Samantha Janus and Rita Simons would be playing Ronnie and Roxy respectively. Janus and Simons were the first "major" signings made by executive producer Diederick Santer. In an interview in the Daily Mirror, Santer commented, "I hope viewers will delight in the sexy, dramatic excitement that they bring to the show. They may be glamorous young women, but these girls are Mitchells and have all the strength of character and unique moral code the name implies." They have been described as "the next generation" of the Mitchells, "A newer, younger, slightly more modern type". Commenting on her new role, Samantha Janus said, "It's an amazing opportunity for me, I can't wait to start causing lots of mischief."
Both Mitchell sisters were featured heavily in a BBC marketing campaign. Several promos aired on the BBC network in summer 2007. Using the slogan "The square, under new management", one promo depicted both sisters as party girls, dancing, serving tequila in The Queen Victoria public house (The Vic), shocking the older residents with their raunchy antics and squirting men with a soda syphon to the tune of "The Girls" by Calvin Harris.
Two other trailers featured Ronnie and Roxy individually. To the instrumental sound of "Little Green Bag" by George Baker (famously used in the Quentin Tarantino film Reservoir Dogs), each sister discussed their sibling, giving snippets of information on their personality and the dynamics of their relationship. Discussing Ronnie, Roxy said "My big sister Ronnie, she'd do anything to stop me getting hurt, including getting hurt herself. Boy, she means business. We mean business. We're the Mitchell sisters after all... and you don't wanna find that out the hard way." Discussing Roxy, Ronnie said "Roxy will always be my kid sister. Fights, broken hearts, over the years we've had them all. She can be quite a handful, and she's definitely gonna stir things up around here. But remember, wherever Roxy Mitchell is... I'm right behind."
The promotion was received favourably by Leigh Holmwood, television journalist for The Guardian newspaper and MediaGuardian.co.uk. He commented, "now there's more to the long running BBC1 soap, apparently...Yes, it's the new sexed-up, soft focus, raunchy EastEnders trailer and it's hitting your TV screens now. In a bid to welcome the Mitchell sisters to Albert Square, the beeb have pulled out all the stops and come up with a very slick marketing campaign indeed." Referencing to the soap's reputation for being miserable and depressing, Holmwood said that the upbeat trailers were "about as un-EastEnders as you can get...Maybe the arrival of Roxy and Ronnie will herald a new golden age for the soap? Or maybe the BBC marketing department is just very good at putting a trailer together..."
In addition to the trailers, the BBC also planned a "glitzy" EastEnders BBC Radio 1 competition to promote the arrival on the the Mitchell sisters, called "I love R&R" (Ronnie and Roxy). It ran from the end of June 2007, and included online promotion and video via the website "Iloverandr.com". The prize consisted of VIP tickets to a special party, which was to be attended by EastEnders actors and Radio 1 DJ Dave Pearce. Despite inviting the winners to attend, Radio 1 cancelled the event due to orders from BBC director general Mark Thompson, who called a halt to all BBC radio, TV and online competitions following a review of its programming, which uncovered scores of editorial breaches. Radio 1 reportedly decided to cancel the promotion as a "precautionary measure", though it is unknown whether the competition breached the BBC ban. Winners were instead told that they would be getting a tour of the EastEnders set, and the website was closed down on 26 July 2007.
In an interview, Janus described her character as being "the more sensible and clever of the sisters, but she has a caustic tongue. She won't trust anyone enough to let them get close to her, although all she really wants is to trust again. They are very, very loyal. She would kill for her sister." Ronnie has also been described as the ice, as opposed to Roxy's fire, as having a dark side to her personality, being affected by her past, and being a control freak. Janus has commented, "She's not honest with herself and others, always hiding and guarding something. She's deeply damaged, she's been taught not to show her feelings. She's been taught to be a survivor and she survives by controlling: controlling her sister's life, controlling her own life and controlling others, and the minute she's taken out of that comfort zone, she starts to unravel quite quickly. She's definitely motivated by something that happened to her when she was younger. That pretty much defines her...that's the thing that defines who she is."
Ronnie is in her thirties, and the elder of the two sisters. Both sisters have been described as glamorous, and have been compared to the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie. Janus has noted that it is no coincidence that the sisters are named Ronnie and Roxy. She also describes the sisters as "co-dependent and dysfunctional", as well as "chilling, dark and absolutely in touch with what the other is doing". Rita Simons has described Ronnie's character as "armoured".
Shortly after the character's introduction, various undisclosed references to secrets from Ronnie's past were made between the Mitchell sisters. In addition, a volatile relationship between Ronnie and her father, Archie (then unseen), was hinted towards. Commenting on this, Janus said, "[Ronnie]’s starting to shed her layers and all her secrets are coming out. We’re starting to see more of her darker side. It’s nice to see what’s going on with her underneath it all. I think a lot of her history and past has affected her." As part of the character's wardrobe, Ronnie was frequently seen on-screen wearing a locket around her neck. The significance of the locket was not revealed until May 2008 when Ronnie finally disclosed that it contained a picture of her baby, whom her father had forced her to give away at birth when she was 14 years old. In the storyline it was explained that Ronnie had never got over the hurt of losing her child and had never forgiven her father for it, and according to Janus, this was why Ronnie had appeared "so damaged and guarded".
The animosity between Ronnie and her father was explored initially in July 2008, when actor Larry Lamb made his first appearance on-screen as Archie. Various revelations featured within the episodes, including Archie's admission that Ronnie's daughter had died 13 years prior, and a death threat made by Archie to Ronnie. Lamb commented, "Ronnie brings out the worst in Archie and he gets vicious. Archie wants to put right these long-standing problems he has with Ronnie but things just get worse.". The storyline will reach it's conclusion in spring 2009 with events forcing Ronnie to view the past differently. Recently, Ronnie had a fight with loud mouthed resident Bianca Jackson. Ronnie soon got the upper hand and proved to her you can never mess with a Mitchell.
Even before Ronnie made her first appearance on-screen, the press hinted towards a future relationship between her and an upcoming character, Jack Branning, played by Scott Maslen. Jack Branning was introduced in October 2007, and his association with Ronnie was developed after he became her business partner at the soap's club, "R&R". A flirtatious romance was established, which led to the start of a relationship in early 2008. The on-screen affair between Ronnie and Jack has reportedly been hard for actors Samanatha Janus and Scott Maslen, as off-screen they are close friends — Janus's husband is best friends with Maslen, and Janus is best friends with Maslen's wife. Janus has commented, "I was very honest and verbal about [being freaked out] [...] Our first kissing scene felt really uncomfortable, it was terrible, but we're over it now [...] Both our sons are slightly freaked out that one mummy seems to be kissing the other daddy, but they've been on so many film sets that they're used to us doing ludicrous things."
In the storyline, Ronnie's association with Jack caused aggravation with her family, due to Jack's rivalry with her cousin Phil, and resentment from her sister Roxy. However, the relationship ended less than a month after it began. When Roxy told Ronnie Jack cheated on her with his ex-wife, Selina, she decided not to move in with him, and punched him.  In an interview in the TV Times, Janus commented, "She [Ronnie] has a problem with physical violence. Any time she's up against it or feels she's been lied to, she lashes out".
Despite this, the characters' on/off romance was resurrected later in the year, facilitating a plot twist whereby Jack, angered after another breakup with Ronnie, was seduced by Roxy as revenge for Ronnie interfering in her love life. This resulted in a "who's the daddy?" storyline, which began in April 2008 and continued throughout the year, with both Jack and Sean Slater (Rob Kazinsky) potential candidates for the father of Roxy's unborn child, though Ronnie remained unaware of Jack and Roxy's liaison. Rita Simons, who plays Roxy, said: "Jack winds Roxy up by suggesting that Ronnie controls her, so she decides to prove him wrong - and kisses him. Afterwards it's really awkward between them. They can barely look at one another." In the storyline, Roxy and Jack agreed to keep their affair secret, while Roxy appropriated Sean Slater as the father, and married him. 
Ronnie is the oldest daughter of Archie and Glenda Mitchell. Described as always independent and headstrong, Ronnie grew wise to her father's manipulating and vindictive ways, through which both her mother and sister, Roxy, had become victims. Her parents' marriage was very unhappy due to Archie's constant philandering and eventually Glenda walked out on their marriage and her daughters, moving to Australia. Ronnie, believing this was her father's doing, rebelled against him by bunking off school, lying to him, and having sex with her teenage boyfriend, Joel Reynolds, at the age of 14. She fell pregnant with a daughter, something she didn't disclose until she was in her fifth month of pregnancy, and after being taken to live with distant relatives by her father, she gave birth to her daughter, Amy, on 26 June 1989. However, just hours after the birth, Archie had the baby adopted, which devastated Ronnie and resulted in a built-up hatred between father and daughter, which resulted in Ronnie's departure from the family home in 1993 at 19. Archie hadn't seen or talked to her since. Ronnie's only memory of her daughter is a locket with her picture inside. Her daughter has a locket identical to hers with Ronnie's picture inside.
Ronnie arrives in Walford with her sister Roxy from Ibiza to attend her cousin Phil Mitchell's wedding to Stella Crawford. The sisters decide to stay in Walford and look after the family's pub, The Queen Victoria, whilst the rest of the family are on holiday. Ronnie wants to set up her own club with Roxy and negotiates the purchase of Scarlet's, but loses out to Jack Branning. Ronnie agrees to go into partnership with him but keeps this from her family. At the opening night of the club, now named R&R, Roxy discovers that she had no claim to the business. This started a series of feuds between the sisters. Ronnie and Jack are attracted to each other and they kiss on Christmas Day 2007. A relationship forms, but it ends when Ronnie discovers Jack has had sex with his ex-wife Selina. Jack and Roxy have a one-night stand and Roxy falls pregnant.
Ronnie's father Archie returns to her life when Roxy stays with him in Weymouth, and Ronnie and her aunt Peggy track her down. Peggy knows she is with Archie, but doesn't tell Ronnie this due to fear of Ronnie not turning up. Ronnie is furious to see Archie after 15 years and wants nothing to do with him. He taunts her over the baby she gave up and informs her she has died. Archie and Peggy get engaged, and Ronnie attempts to make her family see what he is really like. Failing this, she returns to Ibiza, and comes back determined to get over the loss of her daughter and show her father she won't be intimidated by him. Roxy gives birth to a baby she names Amy, after Ronnie's daughter.
Ronnie discovers Roxy and Jack's affair, and severs all contact with her sister. She employs newcomer Danielle Jones, who eventually tells Ronnie she is pregnant. She helps Danielle get an abortion, but doesn't realise Danielle is actually her daughter who has come to find her birth mother, and is not dead. When Danielle begins to remind Ronnie of the child she lost, she keeps her distance. Ronnie and Roxy reconcile after being arrested on suspicion of soliciting, and Ronnie confesses she is still in love with Jack. Ronnie and Archie also reconcile, and she decides to move on from her deceased daughter and attend Archie and Peggy's wedding.
At the wedding reception, Danielle is upstairs determined to take her niece Amy with her. She reveals to Ronnie that she is her daughter but Ronnie refuses to believe her. Instead, she believes Archie, who knows the truth and has been trying to get Danielle to leave. Ronnie throws Danielle out and says nobody would want her for a daughter. Ronnie discovers Danielle's locket inside her champagne flute just as she is giving a speech, and finds her picture inside. She runs after Danielle, now realising the truth, and tracks her down to the tube station. Ronnie shouts to Danielle, who turns to run to her mother, but is run over by Janine Butcher. Danielle dies in Ronnie's arms.
Ronnie and Roxy then become closer, as Roxy comforts her sister. On the day of Danielle's funeral Ronnie turns up unwanted at the church, as Danielle's adoptive father Andy blames Ronnie, and doesn't allow her access to the church. Ronnie asks Danielle's friend Stacey Slater about her, and breaks down at the graveside.
Before Amy's christening, Ronnie's locket is broken and she is devastated as it is all she has left of her daughter. Ronnie gets drunk, and turns up late to the church. She sees Roxy and Jack kissing and is unable to stay, so returns home and smashes up the christening reception, and contemplates taking an overdose, but instead she packs her belongings and goes to the airport. Jack follows and declares his love for her over the airport tannoy. They get back together and Ronnie moves back in with Jack. She tries to persuade him to have a baby with her; he discovers baby clothes hidden in a drawer and is unimpressed. After some persuasion from Jack, she agrees that they are not ready for a baby, but she starts to pierce holes in Jack's condoms.
After Peggy and Sal find an engagement ring in their flat, Peggy pressures Jack to propose to Ronnie as quickly as possible. Jack proposes and she eventually accepts. They go back to their flat, and Jack catches Ronnie piercing a condom. Ronnie convinces Jack that she pierced the condom out of joy because of their engagement and that this was the first time she was doing this. However, after Ronnie shows Jack all the baby clothes and items she bought, he realises that she's been piercing his condoms for weeks, without him knowing. Jack storms out the flat and compares Ronnie's behaviour with Archie's, which upsets her. After Max advises Jack to give her a baby, Jack returns to the flat to find Ronnie's engagement ring on the table. Ronnie leaves Walford on what would have been Danielle's 20th birthday, later telling Roxy she is never to return. Later on Thursday 2nd July, Roxy confronts Jack and argues with him in the flat about being insensitive to Ronnie. After this, she returns to the flat dressed as Ronnie wearing her clothes and makeup. She tries to seduce him and leaned towards him for a kiss, but he horrifyingly pushes her off and tells her he is still in love with Ronnie. However, Roxy then breaks the news to him that Ronnie is seeing someone else. This made him horrified and truly heartbroken.
Following their introductory episode in July 2007, both Mitchell sisters were received favourably by Mark Wright of The Stage. He commented that "Within an episode, Roxy and Ronnie look right at home" and that "they’re in the same tradition of strong soap women that ‘Enders seems to have been lacking since the exit of Kat Moon", a popular character who left the serial in 2005. He added that Samantha Janus "brings a calm but firm presence to the table as Ronnie."
Both Janus and Simons won 'Best Onscreen Partnership' at the 2008 Digital Spy Soap Awards and also won Best Newcomers at the TV Now Awards. Janus also won Best Newcomer at the Daily Star Soaper Star Awards. Samantha Janus has been nominated for Best Actress at the 2009 British Soap Awards for her portrayal of Ronnie.