Eastenders’ ‘Christmas miracle’ for Whitney Dean ahead of Shona McGarty’s exit

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Eastenders boss, Chris Clenshaw, has teased that Whitney Dean will get a “Christmas miracle” before she leaves Walford in the new year.

Shona McGarty, who has played Whitney since 2008, announced earlier this year she was quitting the BBC soap.

Speaking about Whitney’s exit storyline with the Metro, Chris said: “There’s a lot left to come for her.”

He went on to say: “I can confirm that she will be leaving next year, into 2024. She and Zack have a big story, and they kind of get a little Christmas/New Year miracle.”

Whitney has been part of several explosive storylines during her time in Albert Square, including being forced into prostitution by her boyfriend and having an affair with pub landlord Mick Carter, played by Danny Dyer.

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But her most recent storyline left fans heartbroken for the feisty character.

Whitney was left to make the unfathomable decision to terminate her pregnancy after finding out her unborn baby, who she named Peach, had Edwards’ syndrome.

Since the heartbreaking scenes, Whitney and on-screen love interest Zack Hudson, played by James Farrar, have been adamant about becoming parents and have been looking into fostering.

The storyline also earned Shona a nomination for Best Leading Performer at this year’s British Soap Awards.

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Announcing her exit from the soap, Shona, 32, spoke to The Sun on Sunday saying: “I have decided to spread my wings and will be leaving EastEnders.”

Before going on to say: “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.”

She also spoke to Inside Soap about her reasons for leaving the long-running soap, explaining: “It wasn’t an easy decision because I’ve made so many friends. I’ve seen people come and go, and meanwhile, Whitney has been one of the longest-standing characters.

“I’ve had so much fun and done so many storylines, some of which have been sensitive, and I’ve been honoured to be trusted with such heavy stuff year after year.”

Whitney’s exit won’t be the only explosive storyline on the square this Christmas.

Viewers have been on edge to see who gets murdered during the festive season as the reveal was teased back in February.

During his interview, Chris added: “It is absolutely an ensemble affair, I think sometimes there’s one family that potentially dominates Christmas. Last year it was very much the Carters.”

Eastenders airs Monday – Thursday on BBC from 7.30pm

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