shona mcgarty

EastEnders star Shona McGarty breaks silence over ending her engagement

The actress is known for playing Whitney Dean in the BBC soap

Sharnaz Shahid

EastEnders actress Shona McGarty has opened up about ending her relationship with fiancé Ryan Harris. The star, who plays Walford favourite Whitney Dean in the BBC soap, had been dating Ryan for five years before announcing her engagement in 2018. However, the couple secretly parted ways just a few months later. "We were together for six years," Shona told Fabulous Magazine. "When it ended it wasn't a bad break-up, it was amicable. We both came to the decision that, actually, this isn’t what we really want. It fizzled out and we weren't the same people."

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Shona and Ryan split over a year ago

Shona, 28, first announced their split in January after keeping the news under wraps for over a year. "I've learned that I'm alright, I'm happy by myself and I don't need a man," she added. "I was never one of those little girls who had a box full of wedding ideas. I had an Action Man and I wanted to go out on my bike, and climb trees."

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The star then went on to talk about her explosive scenes, which saw her character kill Leo King (after he tried to murder her). "It was the most dramatic thing Whitney's ever been through, but as Shona, I loved filming it," the actress explained. "I absolutely loved killing him and I loved working with Tom [Wells]. I said to Tom: 'Just go for it, throw me around.'

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"We've spent a lot of lunchtimes going through the lines because we've had a lot of physical stuff, so I wanted to make him comfortable with putting his hands on me, throwing me around and being quite rough." The barmaid has since been arrested for killing the paralegal, leaving audiences questioning whether she will be sentenced to prison and then leave the soap.

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