EastEnders icon Shona McGarty ‘quits’ Whitney Dean role after 15 years

EastEnders star Shona McGarty has reportedly quit her role as Whitney Dean after 15 years on the show.

The 31-year-old has played Whitney on EastEnders since she was 16 but has now apparently made the ‘difficult’ decision to leave the BBC soap.

Shona told The Sun on Sunday: “I have decided to spread my wings and will be leaving EastEnders. I have loved my years in the show.

“I have been trusted with some incredible storylines and have made amazing friendships — and family — which will endure.”

The actress’ final scenes are expected to be broadcast early next year when her contract is believed to run out while producers decide on her exit storyline.

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A source has reportedly explained that the decision for the actress wasn’t easy and she’s “gutted” to be leaving after making the difficult choice to exit.

However, it’s said Shona now feels it’s time to try something new.

They added: “Shona is really looking forward to new projects and expanding her career horizon.”

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Whitney won’t be the only icon to wave goodbye to Walford as Karen Taylor actress Lorraine Stanley is also set to exit after seven years on the soap.

Shona has taken on some challenging storylines ever since she joined the soap as the teenage step-daughter to Bianca Jackson (Patsy Palmer) in 2008.

One of her first gut-wrenching plots was the revelation that Tony King (Chris Coghill) had been sexually abusing Whitney and grooming her since she was 12.

In her latest devastating storyline, Whitney saw her unborn baby diagnosed with Edwards syndrome and consequently her daughter Peach was born after undergoing a termination to activate early labour.

Shona McGarty is thought to be leaving EastEnders next year.

The Express has contacted the BBC for comment.

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