EastEnders legend forced to pull out of panto hours before going on stage after falling ill and says she's 'gutted' | The Sun

EASTENDERS actress Shona McGarty has been forced to pull out of her panto gig hours before taking to the stage after falling ill.

The star, who plays Whitney Dean in the BBC soap, was forced to miss last night's performance in Beauty and the Beast at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford and will likely miss today's [December 16] too.

Gutted' Shona took to instagram to let her fans know yesterday evening, revealing she has been battling a bug.

"Guys…I've been feeling rough recently, as you know, and unfortunately have come down with the worst cold n flu symptoms and a really sore throat!" she wrote on her instagram stories.

"I did today's show, and got through it, but it was tough. It's such horrid timing to be ill. Typical! During a panto run! Gutted!"

She then apologised to anyone she was disappointing by not being able to perform.

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"I'm so so sorry to anyone who's coming to panto to see me specifically tonight, but I've had to bow out of tonight's performance and possibly tomorrow's too."

Shona – who is dating Irish musician David Bracken -gave fans hope she would be back soon, however, as she reveals she's got medicine from the doctor.

"I've got antibiotics and lots of meds! I am going to dose myself up, and get better! I am determined to get back up there, and sing my heart out again soon!"

Shona went on to reveal that her understudy Laura would be playing the role of Belle while she is off.

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"She's absolutely fabulous," she promised fans.

The panto is Shona's first gig away from Walford since it was revealed her character would be bowing out of the soap.

Her final scenes will air in 2024.

The Sun revealed back in July that Shona was exiting the show.

Speaking exclusively to The Sun on Sunday, Shona said: “I have decided to spread my wings and will be leaving EastEnders. I have loved my years in the show.

“I have been trusted with some incredible storylines and have made amazing friendships — and family — which will endure.”

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