HOLLYOAKS fans are convinced newcomer Rita Simons will play recast character as the actress returns to soapland.
Channel 4 viewers think the Ex-EastEnders star Rita will play the new Mandy Richardson, after the original actress Sarah Jayne Dunn was axed for refusing to stop posting on her Onlyfans account.
Rita, 46, has confirmed she's joining rival soap Hollyoaks.
Taking to X, formally known as Twitter, Rita told fans: "Well! The news is out! So excited to be joining the fabulous cast of @Hollyoaks later this year!
"Can't tell you who I'm playing but I can tell you she's gonna be trouble! Massive shout to my gorgeous agents @MelanieBlakeUK @NGMManagement @ABA_Agent #MyGirls."
She will make her debut this autumn when she begins filming and it’s set to be an explosive debut.
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Rita previously played the iconic Mitchell sister Roxy on EastEnders for a decade, before her character was killed in 2017, after drowning with sister Ronnie.
She briefly returned to the soap earlier this year in a special one off episode as a hallucination as part of her daughter Amy Mitchell's emotional mental health storyline.
But Hollyoaks fans are convinced Rita may not be playing a new character, but will be playing a recast character, Mandy Richardson.
Taking to a fan forum, one fan pointed out: "I'm surprised it hasn't leaked yet on who Rita is going to be playing. I really thought we'd have heard something by now."
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Another added: "I dunno why its such a secret. With it being a secret I'm leaning more towards a Mandy Richardson recast. If not then again a bit strange."
A third agreed: "I definitely think this is going to be a Mandy recast too."
The original Mandy actress Sarah Jayne Dunn, 41, was axed after 26 years on the Channel 4 soap.
She got into a disagreement with the bosses behind the programme about sharing pictures of herself on the subscription site, OnlyFans.
They parted ways as Sarah Jayne refused to stop posting on her OnlyFans account.
At the time, a spokesperson for the show said: "We take our responsibility to our young audience very seriously and therefore the show does not allow any Hollyoaks cast members to be active on certain 18+ websites.
"We had hoped we could reach a resolution with Sarah that would allow her to remain in her role as Mandy, but we respect her choice to continue to produce content on OnlyFans.
"In the past four years since her return to the show, her legacy character has been an integral part of some our of most important storylines and we will be very sad to see her go."
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