Huge EastEnders actress set to join Hollyoaks – and fans can expect ‘plenty of fireworks’


EASTENDERS actress Rita Simons is joining the cast of Hollyoaks.

She played feisty Roxy Mitchell in Albert Square and reprised her role for a one-off special in April.

Rita Simons is set to make the switch from EastEnders to Hollyoaks

The Mitchell sisters were controversially killed off by BBC bosses in 2017

But I can reveal she is heading to the Channel 4 soap.

A source tells me: “Rita’s new character will certainly ruffle feathers and is set to stir the pot.

“Hollyoaks fans can expect plenty of fireworks.”

Rita left the cast of EastEnders in 2017 after her character drowned alongside sister Ronnie.

She made a shock return as a hallucination earlier this year.

It would not be the first time that EastEnders has brought back a character from the dead after Kathy Beale made a return years after her alleged passing.

Kathy died off-screen, while Ronnie and Roxy’s death appeared to be shown on-screen but Rita admitted to HOAR she refused to film certain death scenes and claimed that she only pretended to hold her breath in the New Year’s Day ‘drowning’ episode.

Rita explained: “I got pulled aside a couple of days before filming the final scene by an exec, who I cannot name for legal reasons, who said to me, ‘There are a lot of people upstairs who don’t agree with this’.

“So what I was hearing was that people above did not agree.

“Why they couldn’t help, I don’t know. The politics there was so fraught at the time.

“And you have to let a producer do what they do and you have to let them find their way.

“They said, ‘If you want any chance at ever bringing Roxy back, you have to refuse to die’.

“So I have sat on this for six years and said nothing.

“It has made me feel like vomiting because I feel so guilty about it.

“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.”

Hair Du

Dua Lipa’s blue hair in the new Barbie movie has attracted lots of attention

DUA LIPA’s blue barnet in the new Barbie movie is certainly attracting a lot of attention – but her real-life tresses could soon make her £1million.

She is being lined up for the huge pay day in a marketing deal with haircare giant Schwarzkopf.

The singer, who plays Mermaid Barbie in the big-screen summer release, is wanted as a brand ambassador.

It comes days after the revelation that she will become the new face of luxury car maker Porsche, following a previous tie-in with Jaguar.

Sources say Dua has been offered a “seven-figure sum” to close the hair and beauty deal.

An insider told me: “They want to make Schwarzkopf sexy and move away from old-lady perms and into the world of sleek, sexy manes.

“Dua will make a great collaborator for the German hair giant.

“She is already single-handedly res- ponsible for making sleek hair cool again and she manages to combine true sophistication with on-trend styling.”

Dua Lipa is hot property in the music and fashion industry

The source added: “She is one of the most recognisable faces in music as well as having a fashion range with Versace and a hit podcast.

“It just seems there isn’t much that she can’t do.

“And this will be another terrific addition to Dua Lipa’s growing empire.”

From her razor-sharp bobs to fri-inged cuts, the stunning singer, who is a natural brunette, has done a good job of experimenting with her hair.

She previously dyed it bubblegum pink for a streetwear collaboration with sports brand Puma.

Dua even took inspiration from Disney villain Cruella de Vil by switching her look to blonde streaks through dark hair.

She previously told Vogue: “I’m really bad at treatments.

“I never have time or a place to kind of sit with a hair mask on.

“I just wash my hair every other day, use a nice mousse and a texture spray, and then that’s it.”

Should Dua sign on the dotted line with Schwarzkopf, she will be following in the footsteps of the Spice Girls’ Emma Bunton, presenter Lisa Snowdon and Aussie model, actress and Strictly star Holly Valance.

Molly’s shock at Ty romance

Molly Rainford has admitted she did not expect to fall for another contestant on Strictly

MOLLY RAINFORD vowed not to be “distracted” by a pro dancer on Strictly – but admits she didn’t count on falling for a fellow celebrity contestant.

The singer and EastEnders actress not only finished up as a runner-up on the show last year, but also but found romance with rival competitor, Kiss FM DJ Tyler West.

But it wasn’t over champagne or oysters that the presenter wooed her, as Tyler showed his down-to-earth side by taking her for a cheeky Nando’s.

Molly’s career has gone stratospheric, having won a role on the BBC soap and releasing her debut dance single My Heart Is Broken Record.

She tells me of her relationship with Tyler: “I didn’t expect that to happen at all.

“It was so weird, as we were both so focused during the series and we just wanted to stay in the contest as long as possible. We weren’t thinking about romance.

“It was only when we went on the tour that the feelers were put out there – that we should go on a date. It was really nice and natural.

“We were friends before, which is really cool. Because we had both been performing on stage so much and it had all been so glamorous and showbizzy, we used to talk about what restaurant chains we wanted to go to.

“We couldn’t wait to do something normal when we were on the tour and so our first date was getting a Nando’s. That was a highlight.”

Having played an intergalactic pop star in CBBC series Nova Jones, Molly is excited to release her first dance single, with British DJ Alex Kirsch.

She said: “My Heart Is A Broken Record is a totally new sound for me. I hope they play it on Love Island, it’s the right party tone. I really want to film a music video somewhere hot, like Spain. It’s a proper summer banger.

“I’d love to perform like J-Lo, who is a singer and actress. If I could be a tiny percentage of her, I’d be happy. And I love those amazing divas like Beyonce and Rihanna.”

Jen takes lead in city shoot

Jennifer Lawrence was spotted filming an advert in New York with three dogs in tow

JENNIFER LAWRENCE had her hands full with some furry co-stars as she filmed in New York.

She was spotted with three dogs while on set shooting an ad for watchmaker Longines.

The No Hard Feelings actress became an “ambassador of elegance” for the luxury watchmaker last year.

Mum-of-one Jen, who was wearing a long coat, looked relaxed around her four-legged pals. But that is no real surprise, as she has a tiny dog called Pippi Longstocking, who she is fiercely protective of.

She once told a TMZ photographer off for touching Pippi without her permission at LAX Airport, blasting “Don’t touch my dog, you f***ing loser.”

HE HAS found himself in a love triangle on Love Island.

But hunky gas engineer Mitchel Taylor can’t help that his good looks make him such a hit with the ladies, according to his mum Debbie.

Love Islan star Mitchel Taylor’s mum says ITV have been very supportive through the show

Mitch is now coupled up with new girl Ella Barnes – leaving Abi Moores out in the cold.

Speaking about her only son, Debbie told me: “When somebody finishes with Mitchel on a Friday, if he wants to date somebody on a Sunday then he does.”

She added: “He is a young handsome man and he can’t make everybody happy but he is definitely not a serial cheat.”

Asked about watching Mitch get cosy under the covers, she said: “He lives at home so he has brought his girlfriends back.

“They are young and in love and all of that malarkey…at the end of the day he is a grown man so just crack on and do what you need to do – it is Love Island!”

Debbie also admitted that it has been the longest she has gone without speaking to Mitch – but said ITV have put her mind at ease.

“I am so impressed with the people running the show – they have been amazing. I have had constant contact.

“If something has gone off in the show they call me the next day like: ‘How do you feel about this?’ I am reassured.”

Take That are game for Si ad

Simon Cowell has landed big names for his new Royal Match advert

SIMON COWELL will be joined on his new mobile phone game ad by a host of top names from TV and music.

I can reveal the £5million commercial for Royal Match also includes Amanda Holden, Tess Daly, Take That, Olly Murs, Stacey Solomon and Dermot O’Leary.

They have all been paid a six-figure sum to be involved.

The extravagant, top-secret campaign funded by gaming giant Dream Games will see Simon playing the game in his dressing room, Dermot in the back of a cab and Take That singing their hit Greatest Day, with frontman Gary Barlow playing the piano.

An insider revealed: “The game owners want Royal Match to blow all the other phone games out of the park.

“They are throwing massive money at it.

“These big-names stars are all making six figures each. Getting them all involved was a huge coup.”

The Istanbul-based Dream Games has had a rapid rise since being founded three years ago.

It is valued at £2.25 billion and has new offices in central London.

Olly Murs meticulously planned his spectacular wedding to Amelia Tank

OLLY MURS spared no expense in making his and bodybuilder Amelia Tank’s wedding one to remember.

The Troublemaker singer took over a private island off the coast of Essex yesterday to create Murs-Fest, which included a carousel, huge stage and even a Ferris wheel.

And it appeared Olly was taking no chances when it came to running out of booze on Osea Island, as staff were seen carrying crates of bottles on to water taxis for the bash.

It was not clear if his estranged twin, Ben, went to the wedding, after Olly was unable to attend his brother’s big day in 2009 due to commitments on The X Factor.

Janice: Prince so shy

Janice Dickinson has been recalling her encounter with music legend Prince

I’M a Celebrity’s Janice Dickinson is releasing a single called Floor, inspired by her nights at iconic New York club Studio 54 in the Seventies and Eighties where she met pop royalty.

The former supermodel told me: “It was an amazing experience.

“I met Prince there one night. That was amazing. He was very shy.

“He didn’t speak much. He was standing at the bar and I just went up to him and started telling him how much I loved his music. He was stand-offish.

“I said, ‘You must be shy.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, I’m very shy.’ He was sweet though. He was a kind, gentle soul, side by side with his immense talent.

“I also met Sting once on a flight. It was great. We talked for hours.

“He’s just the nicest man you’d ever want to speak to – and handsome.”

Janice, who also hosted America’s Next Top Model and was forced out of I’m A Celebrity . . . South Africa this year after suffering a head injury, will return to the UK in September for the National Television Awards.

And she can’t wait to be reunited with jungle host Ant McPartlin, who presents with Dec Donnelly.

She said: “I still have a crush on Ant. Ant was my favourite.

“He was just so cute. I thought, ‘Oh, if I were 20 years younger and maybe about a foot shorter, I would go out with him’. Both of them.”