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Rita's big night

by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2008-10-30

EastEnders actress Rita Simons has won Best Newcomer at the annual National Television Awards

EastEnders actress Rita Simons has won Best Newcomer at the annual National Television Awards

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EastEnders actress Rita Simons has won one of the top prizes at the annual National Television Awards.

The 31-year-old - who is the niece of businessman Sir Alan Sugar - received the Best Newcomer award at the ceremony, held at London's Albert Hall for her role as Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders.

The awards are voted for by members of the public, and Simons beat stars from Casualty, Hollyoaks and Coronation Street to take the prize.

She paid tribute to her fellow cast members in her acceptance speech, as well as her husband and twin daughters.

Simons joined the cast of EastEnders in 2007 as Roxy Mitchell. Since then she has won several other awards for the role, including Best Newcomer at the 2008 Inside Soap Awards.