Caption: Exclusive: Christmas miracle for Whitney in EastEnders
The actress left fans bereft as she confirmed her plans to explore other roles, though Metro.co.uk understands that her alter-ego won’t be killed off.
And, there could be joy on the horizon before she goes as she is being gifted a Christmas miracle.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, producer Chris teased: ‘There’s a lot left to come for her. I can confirm that she will be leaving next year, into 2024.
‘She and Zack have a big story, and they kind of get a little Christmas/New Year miracle.’
It remains to be seen what that will be, but at the moment, the pair have had a step forward as they explore fostering following the loss of their baby, Peach, earlier in the year.
An uplifting turn of events would be welcomed for Whitney, given her many years of trauma and torment in Walford.
There have been some very tough months for Whitney and Zack (Picture: BBC)
Discussing her reasoning for leaving EastEnders, Shona McGarty recently told Inside Soap: ‘It wasn’t an easy decision because I’ve made so many friends. I’ve seen people come and go, and meanwhile, Whitney has been one of the longest-standing characters.
‘I’ve had so much fun and done so many storylines, some of which have been sensitive, and I’ve been honoured to be trusted with such heavy stuff year after year.
‘So I’m going to be sad to say goodbye to my friends and family, but it was the right decision for me as I want to do other things. After 15 years, I’ve had a pretty good run!’
It seems that Shona may already have her next project lined up, with the actress reportedly being ‘in talks’ for the next series of Dancing On Ice.
Shona is spreading her wings after 15 years (Picture: BBC)
And Whitney won’t be the only focus of the Christmas episodes, with Chris promising potentially one of the biggest festive seasons that Albert Square has ever seen, due in large part to the reveal of the murder teased way back in February.
‘It is absolutely an ensemble affair,’ he enthused to us. ‘I think sometimes there’s one family that potentially dominates Christmas. Last year it was very much the Carters.
‘It wasn’t just the Carters that we saw on Christmas Day, we saw the Mitchells and we saw the Slaters and we saw the Fox/Trueman/Brannings, but it was Mick’s last Christmas and that family dominated.
That’s sometimes quite usual of an EastEnders Christmas, but this year we have the six women and therefore we have six different stories which encompass pretty much the entire Square and all of the cast.
‘So it is an ensemble piece and all of those stories start to weave together, knit together and collide.’
Whitney’s final storyline gets underway as Shona McGarty leaves her role.