BBC EastEnders legend Shona McGarty devastated as she’s forced out of new role after sickness

The EastEnders actress is currently playing Belle in a production of Beauty and the Beast - but unforeseen circumstances have forced her out of some performances

Shona McGarty

Panto fans in Dartford were left disappointed when EastEnders star Shona McGarty was forced to pull out of a performance at the last minute.

The 32-year-old soap star – who has played Whitney Dean on the BBC soap since 2008 – is playing Belle in a production of Beauty and the Beast. The TV star has been wowing fans at the Orchard Theatre and Orchard West in Dartford alongside co-stars including magician John Archer, 84, and fellow former EastEnders star Harry Reid, 31 – who played Ben Mitchell form 2014 until 2018.

But soap fans hoping to see the Whitney Dean actress live on stage were disappointed this weekend as she was struck down with illness. The star revealed she had developed crippling flu-like symptoms which meant she had to bow out of the contest. At the end of the week, Shona took to Instagram to share an update about her health – and to let fans know she had been forced to pull out of her show.

Shona McGarty

Shona McGarty was forced to pull out of a performance due to illness 


David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock)


Shona is playing Belle in a production of Beauty and the Beast 



Warning she could miss out on more than one night of life on the theatre stage, she wrote: “Guys… I’ve been feeling rough recently, as you know, and unfortunately have come down with the worst cold n flu symptoms and a really sore throat! I did today’s show, and got through it, but it was tough. It’s such horrid timing to be ill. Typical! During a panto run! Gutted!”

She continued: “I’m so so sorry to anyone who’s coming to panto to see me specifically tonight, but I’ve had to bow out of tonight’s performance and possibly tomorrow’s too. I’ve got antibiotics and lots of meds! I am going to dose myself up, and get better! I am determined to get back up there, and sing my heart out again soon!” She then threw her support behind her understudy, writing: “The wonderful Laura, will be playing Belle tonight. She’s absolutely fabulous.”

Many fans are flooding to see Shona in panto as she will soon be missing from TV screens – as she sensationally announced earlier this year she is quitting EastEnders and will bow out from Albert Square in 2024. The actress explained that it was hard to walk away from the role that had made her a household name – and which she had played for 15 years.

Shona told Inside Soap: “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. So I’m going to be sad to say goodbye to my friends and family, but it was the right decision for me as I want to do other things.”

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/

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