EastEnders star Shona McGarty admits fan doubts over Whitney and Zack
EastEnders star Shona McGarty has opened up about the fans’ doubts over Whitney Dean and Zack Hudson's relationship.
In an interview with TV Times, the star discussed the reaction from fans, saying: "Viewers weren’t that keen on them at first, and I don’t think they’re invested yet because they haven’t seen what we've done. As a viewer and a fan, I hope they could bond over this, but tragedy can also pull you apart."
Related: EastEnders Emma makes tragic discovery about Lola
As fans are aware, on top of Zack's HIV diagnosis, the soap have introduced an emotional baby storyline for the pair. The two are expecting a baby together after a brief fling last year, but things are not going to be easy for them as they discover that their unborn child has Edwards’ syndrome.
Babies with Edwards’ syndrome are often born with a heart defect, alongside other features including a smaller head and jaw, as well as being at higher risk of certain conditions, such as seizures or hearing loss.
The soap has collaborated with SOFT UK and Antenatal Results and Choices for the storyline, with the aim to "accurately reflect and raise awareness of Edwards' syndrome whilst sensitively portraying the tough decisions that prospective parents are faced with following a diagnosis".
Related: EastEnders first look as Whitney and Zack reunite over baby
When asked if this is the toughest storyline she’s ever been involved with, Shona said: "I think it is.
"There’s the fear of not doing it justice. I don’t want women who have had this experience to watch it and say, 'Well, that's not right.' I really think the writing has been so accurate that it will be okay. But obviously this is Whitney's story, and so all of her emotional past experiences up until this point will feed into her reaction. It's going to be hard for viewers to watch."
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage
Readers affected by this story may visit SOFT UK and Antenatal Results and Choices for further information and support.
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