EastEnders News: Shona McGarty reportedly in talks with Strictly Come Dancing after previously turning it down

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Actress Shona McGarty is reportedly swapping EastEnders for Strictly Come Dancing. 

EastEnders actress Shona McGarty is reportedly in talks with Strictly Come Dancing to star in this year's lineup.

It's only summer and yet the rumours for who will appear in this year's Strictly Come Dancing have already begun. Actress Hannah Waddingham, boxer Tommy Fury, filmmaker Nicola Peltz Beckham and soap star Shona McGarty are just some of the names that are reportedly in talks with Strictly bosses. 

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Shona McGarty, 32, who is best known for playing Whitney Dean in the BBC Soap announced in December 2023 that she would be leaving EastEnders after 16 years. This week the soap will be airing Whitney's final scenes in her storyline. 

Shona McGarty debuted as Whitney back in 2008 when she was just 16 years old. She revealed that she had previously been approached by Strictly to star in the series. The actress admitted she turned it down due to worrying about being “anxious” and “too nervous”. 

A source told The Mirror: “Shona would be a great fit for the show. She’s a real favourite with soap fans, as well as being incredibly bubbly and good fun. She is also a big fan of Strictly but when she was approached for it the first time, she was really worried it might be too much for her. A few years on, she is a lot more confident and the timing is better, because she won’t have to juggle the show with her commitments to EastEnders.”

Shona McGarty won't be the first EastEnders actress to star in the BBC series. Last year Boooby Brazier took time out from filming to appear on the show. He came runner up with professional dancer Diane Buswell. 

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Rose Ayling-Ellis lifted the glitterball trophy when she won in 2021. Plus actors Nigel Harman, James Bye and Emma Barton have also featured on the show.

EastEnders airs Monday to Thursday from 7.30pm on BBC One or BBC iPlayer. 

Natalie Dixon is NationalWorld’s Lifestyle reporter. If you liked this article and want to read more about soaps, celebrities and lifestyle you can follow Natalie Dixon on X here

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