Hollyoaks star Rita Simons opens up about how she met her boyfriend

Hollyoaks star Rita Simons has opened up about her home life with current boyfriend Ben Harlow.

Making her debut on tonight's (April 24) episode of Drama Queens, Rita and Ben could be seen settling into their new home together after relocating to Liverpool for her role as Marie Fielding on Hollyoaks.

Alongside discussing plans for renovating their new house, Rita opened up about the moment she met Ben during a stage production for Legally Blonde: The Musical back in 2017.

"I met Ben during Legally Blonde," the former EastEnders star recalled, revealing that Ben had played the UPS guy who seduced her character Paulette. They were friends for several years before dating.

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"We were mates and then a couple of years later he asked me out on a date," she said. "And we've been together ever since."

Rita also spoke about her decision to join Hollyoaks and the impact that her current storyline has had on her as a mother.

Opening up about her character Marie's fractured relationship with son Abe (Tyler Conti) as well as her desperate attempts to track down her younger child Arlo, the actor explained that the scenes are difficult to film while being away from her own daughters.

"So today we've got a scene with my gorgeous son [Abe]. Today is kind of like a big crescendo in our storyline," she explained, adding that Abe tells Marie that she is a "shit mum."

rita simons, drama queens

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She then went on to say that while she has a good relationship with her real-life children, the emotionally charged storyline still "hurts" to act out.

"Because I've battled so much with moving up here away from my kids, every time Tyler or Rory [Douglas-Speed, who plays her other son Joel Dexter] says to me 'crap mum' or 'you're rubbish' it hurts," she said.

"I would never want either or my kids to say that to me."

Drama Queens airs on Wednesday nights at 9pm on ITVBe and ITVX. Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4 each weekday at 7.30pm. Episodes then air on E4 the following day, before getting their YouTube premiere a week after that.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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