EastEnders fans were left in tears on Thursday's episode as Roxy Mitchell made a "heartbreaking" return.
Roxy, played by Rita Simons, made an emotional return as her daughter Amy struggled with her mental health following the breakdown of her father, Jack Branning's, marriage amid her step-mum Denise Fox's infidelity.
As the family attended a group therapy session, Amy was encouraged to open up about her emotions surrounding the loss of her mum, who drowned alongside her sister Ronnie back in 2017.
As she considered this, Amy zoned out of the session and Roxy then appeared as a figment of her daughter's imagination, leaving fans in tears over the "heartbreaking" scenes.
Taking to Twitter, one person said: "Tears, My heart this scene was absolutely incredible heartbreaking just as much to see beautiful Roxy tonight. #EastEnders."
A different account put: "No because im in tears over roxy and amy #EastEnders."
Another follower wrote: "#eastenders OMG tonight’s episode had me in tears @OfficialRita you are amazing the minute I saw Roxy’s bracelets I had a massive smile on my face !! You were breathtaking brilliant!! I can speak for the nation if Roxy and Ronnie were to magically reappear we would all play along."
A different fan put: "ROXY, COME BACK FROM THE DEAD. WE NEED YOU! @bbceastenders , @OfficialRita #EastEnders."
While another show watcher added: "I think Roxy should come back permanently… I didn't realise how much I actually missed her until I saw those scenes tonight. #EastEnders."
And now Roxy star Rita has teased a potential full-time return as she admitted that she filmed her character's final scenes, where she drowned in a swimming pool on New Year's Day, as if she were holding her breath.
While the actress added that she also refused to film scenes where Roxy was declared dead and in a coffin just in case the iconic character could one day return.
Talking to The Sun, Rita said: "It is up to the viewers how far they are willing to accept whether she is alive or not. EastEnders belongs to the public and it is up to them to decide."
She added: "Now is the time to say I played that scene as if I was holding my breath. Go back and watch it online and you will see next to nothing of me at all.
"I also refused to do the coffin scene. I was asked directly to my face and I refused point blank. It was really difficult because I was never a difficult actress or a diva but I had to do this thing to have any chance to protect me because I cared about Roxy."
Rita went on to say that she didn't let anyone film her "jumping in the pool" so "no one saw me drown".
EastEnders continues on Monday to Thursday at 7:30pm on BBC One.
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