Shona McGarty reveals final EastEnders episode date and why she isn't tuning in

Shona McGarty is leaving EastEnders this week credit:Bang Showbiz
Shona McGarty is leaving EastEnders this week credit:Bang Showbiz

Shona McGarty won't be tuning into her "emotional" final 'EastEnders' episode as it airs.

The 32-year-old actress - who first played Whitney Dean on the BBC soap in 2008 - is leaving Albert Square after 16 years, and her last ever episode will air on Thursday (23.05.24).

She said in a video shared on Instagram: "Hey guys.

"So this is a little message just to say I have of course been following Whitney's journey this week and obviously it's her last week, which has been really emotional to watch because I know it's coming to an end."

Unfortunately, she won't be able to tune in with everyone else because she's away rehearsing for her role in '2:22 A Ghost Story' this summer.

Her partner David Bracken has to travel back to Ireland to play a show, and Shona would rather wait until the weekend to catch the episode with her "whole family".

She continued: "[He] has to fly back to Ireland because he has a gig, obviously he's a musician and that's the name of the game.

"So I really want to watch my last episode, which is tomorrow night... I really want to watch [it] with him and with my whole family, just like I did with my first episode.

"So I'm not going to watch my last episode until Saturday when David's home and I'm back home. So if I'm not really active on [social media] it's because I'm trying not to get distracted and watch it."

The video cut out, and in a follow-up she admitted she "got a bit emotional" talking about her farewell.

She said: "Sorry about that. Got a bit emotional, which is only natural. I mean, I've been there for 16 years.

"It has been really emotional and I just want to say thank you to everyone who's ever supported Whitney, ever. Or even if you didn't support Whitney and you gave me a hate comment ... it's still support."

She reiterated that it was "her decision" to leave the soap, and she's grateful to her fans along the way.

She added: "I just want to say thanks. Thanks for everything. And I'm not gonna be watching my episode until Saturday, so there you go.

"But thank you so much for everything. 16 years is a long time. It's been a tough old paper round. I've loved every single minute of it.

"And who knows... the door is wide open and Whitney could come back in in her high heels and really big earrings one day. Love you all loads."