Who is Whitney Dean actress Shona McGarty? EastEnders star's age, career and dating history

15 April 2021, 15:02

Shona McGarty plays Whitney Dean in EastEnders
Shona McGarty plays Whitney Dean in EastEnders. Picture: BBC/Instagram/PA Images

Who is Whitney Dean dating in real life and what do we know about EastEnders actress Shona McGarty?

Shona McGarty has been on our screens since 2008 as EastEnders favourite Whitney Dean.

As Bianca Jackson’s (Patsy Palmer) feisty daughter, Whitney has been part of some of the soap’s biggest storylines.

These include her sexual abuse by Bianca's partner Tony King (Chris Coghill), failed marriage to Callum Highway (Tony Clay) and killing Tony’s son Leo (Tom Wells) in self defence.

But while we have watched Whitney grow up on screen, how much do we know about actress Shona away from the cameras?

Shona McGarty joined EastEnders in 2008
Shona McGarty joined EastEnders in 2008. Picture: PA Images

How old is Shona McGarty?

Shona McGarty was born on 14 October 1991, making her 29-years-old.

Read More: What happens to Kush in EastEnders and is he leaving?

What else has Shona McGarty been in?

Before joining the cast of EastEnders, Shona was a part of musical theatre for six years and starred in Wizard of Oz.

She regularly shares videos of herself singing on Instagram and TikTok, showing off her impressive voice.

Shona has previously performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra and has recorded music.

Who is Shona McGarty dating?

Shona previously dated her co-star Matt Lapinskas - who played Anthony Moon - back in 2011, but the pair split after 18 months when he appeared on Dancing on Ice.

The actress went on to date musician Ryan Harris for six years, with the former couple getting engaged on her 26th birthday in 2018.

Speaking to OK! magazine at the time, Shona said: "Ryan asked me to cut the birthday cake and I was like: ‘Why? We’re not getting married!’

“But I did it and there was a box on the top of the cake and Ryan asked me to open the box.

Whitney Dean hallucinates about her abusive childhood on Eastenders

"When I opened it there was a ring inside and I turned around and Ryan was down on one knee and I started crying," she said, "The engagement was a complete surprise, but we had spoken about marriage, just to check that we both wanted the same things."

But in January 2020, Shona announced the couple had been broken up for more than a year.

She told The Sun: "I've actually been single for a year and a bit. I just didn't want to say anything. We were together for six years. 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."

It’s unclear whether Shona is dating again, as the actress previously said: "I'm not dating. I've never been on a date. Never. My anxiety would go through the roof if I had to go on a date. I'm just waiting. I'm not going to force it."

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