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Monday 24th February 2020

Shona McGarty 'holding out on signing a three-year contract' with EastEnders

Bosses want her to stay

Shona McGarty is said to be considering a three-year deal with BBC soap EastEnders - but hasn't signed on the dotted line just yet.

According to reports, show boss Kate Oates is keen for Shona's character Whitney Dean to stay in Walford and become an integral part of some big storylines over the next few years.

She's currently dating the son of the man who abused her - but she doesn't know it yet (Credit: BBC)

Read more: EastEnders fans convinced paedophile Tony King faked his death and will return

According to The Sun newspaper's Bizarre TV column, 28-year-old Shona is set to land a huge pay rise, but they face a fight to keep her on the show...

A source said: "Kate has big plans for her character Whitney, but Shona hasn't signed a new deal yet.

"She's in a strong position to get a pay rise and a good deal because Kate has put so many plans around her character."

Whitney was devastated to discover the man she planned to marry was gay (Credit: BBC)

Read more: Tameka Empson is making a return to EastEnders at Christmas

The insider added: "They want to get her on a three-year deal."

Viewers know that Whitney has been involved in some of the biggest EastEnders storylines this year - including her ill-fated engagement to Callum 'Halfway' Highway.

In highly emotional scenes, Whitney discovered fiancé Callum was actually gay and in love with Ben Mitchell.

Callum pleaded for Whitney's forgiveness in EastEnders (Credit: BBC)

Whitney has since got together with mystery Albert Square newcomer Leo King, who viewers know is the son of Whitney's predatory stepfather Tony King.

When she finds out the truth about his secret identity, the repercussions are bound to reverberate across Albert Square.

EastEnders' executive producer Jon Sen recently admitted that he and Kate are keen for Whitney to be "front and centre of the show" in upcoming plots. 

He said: "We talk often about Whitney, her troubled past, her history with men and her bad luck in relationships."

Some fans want Whitney and Mick to get back together... (Credit: BBC)

He continued: "Shona plays tragedy so well. Whitney's such a compelling character and she's a character who you can give really tough stories to and she plays them with such conviction and power.

"When I joined, Kate and I had a conversation and said: 'We're fascinated by Whitney, the enigma, this character with this past we all know about and the fact she can never find happiness, and where do we go?'

"We agreed we wanted to push her front and centre of the show in terms of investing in that character and this story becomes a chapter in a much longer arc that we have planned.

"Without saying too much, it becomes [clear] that this is just one more chapter in her story. But over time, over the next 18 months, she learns from everything you're going to see coming up."

Kate added: "We know where we're taking Whitney across a couple of years, which is always a joy with a character because we don't always get that."

Would you like to see Whitney stay in Walford? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!