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Roxy Mitchell
Roxie mitchell.jpg
EastEnders character
Portrayed by Rita Simons
Created by Dominic Treadwell-Collins
Introduced by Diederick Santer
Duration 2007—
First appearance 24 July 2007
Classification Present; regular
Profile
Date of birth 27 March 1978
Home The Queen Victoria
Occupation Landlady/businesswoman, (previously barmaid)

Roxanne Lizette "Roxy" Mitchell (previously Slater), is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, portrayed by Rita Simons.[1] Roxy arrived in Walford with her sister Ronnie (played by Samantha Womack) on 24 July 2007[2] and decided to move permanently to Walford from Ibiza where they ran a bar together.[3] Roxy is 31,[4] and the younger of the two sisters.[1] She is described as the fire, as opposed to Ronnie's ice.[1]

Roxy's major storylines have seen her break off her engagement with her fiancé, fall out with her sister on several occasions, and assume relationships with Jase Dyer and Sean Slater, as well as betraying Ronnie by sleeping with her on-off boyfriend, Jack Branning. The character has proved popular with viewers, with Simons winning 'Best Newcomer' award at the Digital Spy Soap Awards in 2008 for her role in the soap.

Contents

Creation

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Promotion

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.[5]

Two other trailers featured Ronnie and Roxy (Samantha Womack and Rita Simons) speaking 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..."[5]

In addition to the trailers, the BBC also planned a "glitzy" EastEnders BBC Radio 1 competition to promote the arrival on the Mitchell sisters, called "I love R&R" (Ronnie and Roxy).[6] 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.[6] 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.[6][7] 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.[6]

Personality

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".[8] Simons has described Roxy's insecurities, commenting: "whatever insecurities she's got, she has a shag".[9][10] Simons also stated in a 2009 interview following the departure of her on screen husband Sean Slater that Roxy would only ever love him and no man would ever match up to Sean again.[citation needed]

Development

Discussing the storyline which saw Roxy sleep with Ronnie's boyfriend, Jack Branning, Simons has said: "This is by far the worst Roxy has ever felt in her entire life. The guilt is absolutely killing her. I really hope the viewers sympathise with her Filming was hard and it got to the stage where she couldn't even look at Sam without crying. What she's done to Ronnie is so out of order, but if she could take it back, she would."[11] Making it clear that what happened between Roxy and Jack was a one-off, she stated: "There's no lingering attraction between them [...] He makes Roxy's skin crawl."[11] Simons also considered the outcome were Ronnie to find out about the betrayal, speculating: "One thing the Mitchells are good at is sweeping things under the carpet. And these girls have been through so much together. Perhaps in time, Ronnie could find it in her heart to forgive Roxy..."[11] She mentioned the character's relationship with friend Christian Clarke, assessing that Roxy would be "really lost without him. He's her rock".[11]

Storylines

Roxy arrives in Walford with her sister, Ronnie, for her cousin Phil's wedding. They are shocked by the news that Phil's fiancée, Stella Crawford, has committed suicide so Peggy, Phil and Ben go on holiday, leaving Ronnie and Roxy to run The Queen Victoria.

Roxy's philandering fiancé Damian arrives and Roxy tells him she is pregnant with Ian Beale's baby to get rid of him. He leaves but later returns and Roxy tells him that she miscarried. She seduces him for money so she and Ronnie can buy the R&R nightclub. Ronnie, however, determined to make sure Damian stays away for good, frames him for sexual assault and he leaves. Jack Branning buys the club and goes into partnership with Ronnie, without Roxy's knowledge. Roxy is furious to discover this and Ronnie and Jack also start dating but break up after Jack has an affair and Roxy plays a prank on Jack which makes him kidnap her and scare her and leave her in a deserted place by herself late at night in revenge.

Roxy starts dating Sean Slater but Ronnie tries to end things between them when she discovers Sean is a drug dealer. It later emerges that Roxy was once addicted to cocaine. After an explosive argument with Ronnie, Roxy gets extremely drunk and has a one-night stand with her enemy Jack. He's still split up with Ronnie at this stage however. Roxy discovers she is pregnant and tells Sean that he is the father while she and Ronnie plan to return to Ibiza. They leave but Ronnie soon returns looking for Roxy, revealing that after they argued in Ibiza, she disappeared. It soon transpires Roxy is staying with their father Archie in Weymouth, to Ronnie's horror. Roxy is adamant she will live with Archie but Sean persuades her to return to Walford by telling her that he is in love with her. Roxy and Sean move in together and plan to marry. Ronnie tries stopping the wedding but realises she will lose Roxy if she doesn't let her make her own decisions, and the couple marry.

Roxy goes into premature labour in November 2008 and Archie, now living in Walford and engaged to Peggy, sends Ronnie and Roxy to hospital, claiming he will find Sean. Roxy gives birth to a girl named Amy with Ronnie as her birth partner. When Sean finally arrives, he is told by Ronnie that Roxy wants nothing to do with him. However, they soon rekindle their relationship and plan to move to Dagenham. Archie is determined to ruin their relationship and Roxy, unsure if Sean or Jack is Amy's father, secretly has a DNA test done. She tells her close friend Christian Clarke that Sean is the father and attempts to live a lie with Sean with him believing he's the father but she panics when she mislays the results. Christian reassures her that if Sean finds them, he'll be pleased at the result so Roxy cracks and admits that Sean isn't Amy's father. Sean discovers this on Christmas Day 2008, thanks to Suzy Branning planting the results in his cracker. He and Ronnie also discover that Jack is Amy's father and Roxy begs Sean for a second chance.

Sean snatches Amy and keeps her for a few days but calls his sister, Stacey, and gives Amy to her, knowing that she will return Amy to Roxy. On New Year's Day Sean tells Roxy to elope and leave Walford with him and Roxy agrees. He, Roxy and Amy drive to a frozen lake and Sean reveals his intentions of how he wants to kill them all. Roxy gets Amy to safety after she raises the alarm to Jack and Ronnie but she and Sean fall through the ice. Ronnie and Jack save Roxy. She and Sean survive but Roxy tells him to leave as she can't put Amy at risk so he walks away and is not seen again.

Jack now knows he is Amy's father but Roxy doesn't want him in her life until he offers her a credit card so she can buy things for Amy. Roxy and Ronnie try to patch up their relationship, but Archie deliberately ruins it. They do patch things up but argue repeatedly over many things until the Mitchells discover that Danielle Jones is the daughter Ronnie gave up for adoption. Archie told Ronnie that her baby was dead but Danielle proves he is lying but is killed moments after reuniting with Ronnie. Roxy, horrified at her father's behaviour, disowns him and decides to look after Ronnie. Ronnie is angry with Roxy for allowing Jack to see Amy and is devastated to see them kiss at Amy's christening. Ronnie decides to leave Walford, and Roxy realises Jack still loves Ronnie. She tells him he will have nothing to do with Amy any longer as she would always be second. However, when Ronnie temporarily leaves Walford after an argument with Jack, Roxy tries to seduce him while wearing Ronnie's clothes and perfume. Jack, however, is horrified by her behaviour and tells her that he is still in love with Ronnie and Roxy tells him that she has met someone else.

Roxy secretly contacts Archie who is determined to win Peggy back. When she lets him return to The Queen Victoria, Peggy is shocked and disgusted and tells her to move out and leave her keys. Roxy moves in with Archie but when Ronnie tells her that Archie has been paying Janine Butcher (Charlie Brooks) to spy on his daughters, Roxy and Amy move back into the pub.

Roxy's cousin Sam returns to Walford from Brazil after being on the run from the police. The Mitchells initially hide Sam's return from her because they think she will tell Archie but she walks in on them talking. She does tell Archie but he agrees to help in order to regain his family. Sam upsets Roxy the next morning, complaining about Amy. The next week, Roxy complains to Al Jenkins that she is bored and they go out on a date, only to be interrupted by Ronnie, Ronnie's boyfriend Joel Reynolds, Sam and Sam's fiancé Ricky Butcher. She apologises, but he doesn't complain and Roxy realises she has feelings for him.

When Jack's niece Bianca Jackson exposes Jack and Sam's love affair, Roxy reacts badly and throws Sam out of the Vic, instructing Phil not to let her back in. Roxy goes on another date with Al, and later turns up at the surgery wearing stockings and a short nurse outfit, only to witness Chelsea Fox seducing him. She then begins a relationship with him.

Archie is murdered on Christmas Day and Roxy finds Ronnie with the body, who is arrested when the police arrive. Roxy is questioned by police the next day. As Archie's body is about to be taken from the pub, she pushes Janine, shouting at her that she is a murderer. Sam accuses Peggy of the murder, and Peggy is questioned by the police but released without charge. While Peggy is gone, Ronnie and Roxy find Peggy and Archie's divorce papers, meaning they are not divorced and Peggy could claim back the pub. When she gets home, they ask her about it but she gets upset so they comfort her. She tells them they are still her girls, and at that moment, Ronnie and Roxy's mother, Glenda walks in, saying they are her girls. Roxy is initially not happy to see Glenda but they start getting on after a few days.

Archie's will reveals that Roxy has inherited the majority of Archie's estate, including The Queen Victoria, Mitchell's Executive Motors (the car lot), his house, his Maserati sports car and over £3 million. Roxy orders Phil to throw Janine out of the pub before celebrating her new wealth. After Glenda argues with Peggy, Roxy asks her to go back to France for a few days so she admits she lives on a council estate in South London and never opened a boutique. When Ronnie tells Roxy that they might have another sibling, Roxy says it was probably another of Glenda's lies.

Soon, Roxy takes advantage of her ownership of The Queen Victoria and starts to make changes. She decides she wants the pub to have a younger feel, so she fires Tracy, changes Peggy and Phil's jobs so they only work behind the scenes, and hires Chelsea and Christian to replace them, to Peggy's dismay. Peggy receives a pathologist report on Archie, which Roxy reads out. The report states that Archie had terminal cancer, and Roxy is furious at Peggy for not telling anyone, and forbids her to attend his funeral. After an unsuccessful trip to visit Glenda, Roxy relents and Peggy is invited to the funeral.

A report from the pathologist shows that Archie had terminal cancer. Roxy finds out that Peggy knew but she thought Archie was lying so told nobody and says Peggy is not welcome at the funeral. Roxy tells Ronnie she wants to find Danny, but when they get to Glenda's flat, her neighbour Reg tells them she has moved away and he knows nothing about Danny. Roxy then says they know the truth – that their mother is a liar. After Archie's funeral, Ronnie starts a celebration, and tells Roxy it is the happiest day of her life. Roxy calls her evil. As they row, they are interrupted by the arrival of Danny. After a visit from Glenda to prove that Danny is who he claims to be, Danny gets talking to his sisters who ask him to stay, against Glenda's wishes.

Tracy wants to take Roxy to an unfair dismissal tribunal, so Roxy decides to hold barmaid auditions, giving Tracy her fair chance but making sure she does not win. Roxy takes her friends for a meal, forgetting that she had a date with Al. She is then forced to give Tracy her job back as she does not want to go to Peggy for advice as she does not know how to run a pub. Al and Roxy's relationship ends when someone complains about it even though she is not his patient. He quits his job and decides to move back to Cornwall, but she does not want to go with him.

Roxy witnesses Ronnie throwing red paint on Archie's picture, and she accuses Ronnie of killing him. Ronnie denies it, and states that he was evil. Ronnie reveals that Archie raped Stacey Slater, and she tells Roxy that he is perfectly capable, because Archie raped Ronnie when she was a child. Bradley Branning is posthumously found guilty of the murder. When Danny returns to Walford, Roxy is pleased to see him. She gives him a job behind the bar but is angry when he puts the bust of Queen Victoria back on the bar as it was used to kill Archie. However, Danny convinces her to keep it as it is what Archie would have done. Danny sabotages a pump in the pub meaning Roxy is forced to ask Peggy for help. Danny convinces Roxy to purchase the beauty salon that is going up for auction, however, she soon changes her mind but is shocked when Ronnie announces her plan to buy it and turn it into a bar. Roxy decides to bid against Ronnie out of spite, and they end up in a bidding war. Ronnie know Roxy will not give up and forces the price up to £160,000, well over Roxy's £115,000 limit.

Reception

Rita Simons won the 'Best Newcomer' award at the Digital Spy Soap Awards in 2008 for the part of Roxy and also collected an award at the Dublin awards and the TV Now awards. She also won the National Television Award 2008 for Best Newcomer.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Mitchell Sisters", The Daily Mirror. URL last accessed 2007-05-11.
  2. ^ "Samantha Janus lands 'EastEnders' role", Digital Spy. URL last accessed 2007-05-11.
  3. ^ "Girls alout hit Albert Square". The Sun. 2007-04-17. http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2001320029-2007170582,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  4. ^ "Ultimate Pat Fight". The Mirror. 2007-04-17. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/tm_method=full%26objectid=18915527%26siteid=89520-name_page.html. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  5. ^ a b "Can Roxy and Ronnie save EastEnders?". The Guardian. 2007-08-03. http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/2007/08/can_roxy_and_ronnie_save_easte.html. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  6. ^ a b c d "BBC scraps EastEnders contest". The Guardian. 2007-08-03. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/aug/03/bbc.broadcasting. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  7. ^ "BBC halts phone-in contests". The Guardian. 2007-07-18. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/jul/18/bbc.broadcasting. Retrieved 2007-12-09. 
  8. ^ "Meet the Mitchells: Ronnie and Roxy join cousin Phil on EastEnders". Daily Mail. 12 July 2007. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/showbiz/showbiznews.html?in_article_id=467923&in_page_id=1773. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  9. ^ Simons, Rita. Interview with Jonathan Ross. Friday Night with Jonathan Ross. 2008-01-18. and GMTV date = 2008-08-06 Describing how real life crisises clash with work and her social life
  10. ^ "Mitchell Sisters". The People. 2008-01-20. http://www.people.co.uk/showbiz/wise/tm_method=full%26objectID=20292650%26siteID=93463-name_page.html. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  11. ^ a b c d Woodward, Kate, "Roxy's guilty secret!", Inside Soap (England): 4–5, 22 April 2008 
  12. ^ "Digital Spy Soap Awards 2008: Rita Simons". Digital Spy. 2008-03-21. http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/soaps/i126521/rita-simons.html. Retrieved 2008-03-21. 

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