Entertainment Shona McGarty says 'tennis balls on sticks' used for EastEnders kisses
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Shona McGarty has revealed that the EastEnders cast have been using 'tennis balls on sticks' to film kissing scenes during the pandemic.
The actress, 29, who plays Whitney Dean on the BBC soap, joked that although the set-up is 'really bizarre' all the 'trickery' has worked well to keep the show going.
Appearing on Friday's This Morning, Shona also admitted it was 'strange' to actually make physical contact with Davood Ghadami, who plays Kush Kazemi, for their recent embrace which was made possible after they formed a bubble.
Speaking about the clever kissing scenes, Shona said: 'EastEnders' have been absolutely fantastic.
EastEnders: Shona McGarty teases 'big exit' for Kush Kazemi
'EastEnders' actress Shona McGarty reveals her co-star Davood Ghadami will get a "big exit" this month.The soap star - who has played Whitney Dean on the BBC show since 2008 - revealed her co-star Davood Ghadami will receive a huge Albert Square send-off when his character leaves the show after confessing to the Mitchells' crimes in court to help Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace).
'Basically, we usually use - really bizarre - but we use tennis balls on sticks and pretend they're other people and other characters, which does work.
'It's a lot of trickery and a lot of magic, so it's been really clever.'
Shona then explained her situation, adding: 'But for me and Davood, who plays Kush, we were in a close cohort, so we were both tested and we formed a bubble.
'It was strange, it was so strange to be able to actually make physical contact, let alone kissing a character. It was very strange!'
Fans were stunned after Whitney and Kush were seen kissing in a recent trailer, with viewers excited for some normality.
Shona McGarty thinks Kush's exit would 'hit Whitney hard'
Whitney Dean "would take it really hard" if she was separated from Kush, according to Shona McGarty.The 29-year-old actress - who plays Whitney in the BBC soap - thinks her on-screen character could crumble if she's separated from Kush, as she believes he's "the one".
One fan tweeted: 'Great to see EE relaxing measures again for the Kush/Whitney kiss!'
Elsewhere during her This Morning appearance, Shona said she doesn't mind her character constantly being involved in drama.
She said: 'I don’t mind as an actress Whitney being so unhappy and having these dramas happen because as an actress you want to be busy.'
And it seems as if things will continue being lively for the actress as her character's love interest Kush is set to leave the show.
Actor Davood will be exiting the square, and while details are being kept under wraps, Shona has now promised a big surprise.
Why is Kush Kazemi actor Davood Ghadami leaving EastEnders?
DAVOOD GHADAMI will be leaving his role as Kush Kazemi in EastEnders but why is he leaving the soap?WARNING: This article contains spoilers from EastEnders.
She said: 'I think the viewers are gonna be... I don't wanna give too much away, but they're gonna be shocked!'
Actor Davood finished filming the BBC One soap in early March, and admitted at the time it was 'tough' not being able to embrace his 'EastEnders' co-stars after six-and-a-half years on the show, as a result of social distancing guidelines.
Sharing a picture of himself and James Bye (Martin Fowler), he wrote: 'Not going to lie today was bittersweet. I had to say goodbye to some of THE best people I could ever wish to know.
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'Not being able to do the usual hugs was tough, though probably for the best as I might not have let go. I'm a very lucky lad.
'Thanks to the ones who made the 6 and a half years so special. You know who you are. The pic might even hint subtly at who one of them is... thanks for the ride (sic)'
Davood's EastEnders character Kush is set to leave Albert Square his contract comes to an end and bosses already have a 'huge plot planned' for his departure.
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It is thought that he'll be faced with a decision over whether to flee the country to avoid prison for a botched heist.
Kush has most recently struck up a romance with Whitney, played by Shona, after his relationship with Kat Slater, portrayed by Jessie Wallace, ended.
The duo grew close after Whitney helped him hide out following his disastrous involvement in the Mitchells' car heist - with the fallout ultimately bring about the end of his relationship with Kat.
Whitney and Kush spent Valentine's Day together just as friends, but it was clear to see from then that sparks were beginning to fly for the pair. Since then, they've enjoyed a blossoming romance, but with his exit looming, will this end in tragedy?
EastEnders spoilers: Nancy Carter's frightening health secret 'exposed' by Linda
EASTENDERS' Nancy Carter is back in Albert Square, much to the delight of her family. But next week sees them left stunned by something they find in her belongings.Nancy has struggled with the condition in the past, but before she went travelling with her boyfriend Tamwar Masood (Himesh Patel), it seemed she had everything under control.
Kush was previously married to Shabnam Masood, played most recently by Rakhee Thakrar.
And Davood has now announced he will be joining the cast of Holby City following his departure from EastEnders.
The actor, 38, confirmed on social media on Friday that he will join the BBC medical drama where he will be playing Eli Ebrahimi, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon.
The news was announced on the Holby City official Twitter and Instagram accounts, along with a picture of Davood in costume, writing: 'Too excited for words!
'@DavoodGhadami is joining #HolbyCity as Eli Ebrahimi, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon'
The actor re-shared the post to his own Instagram page, with the words: 'Big News!! So excited [alongside a party face emoji]'
He then joked: 'I need a doctor, call me a doctor'.
In a statement Davood said: 'I am absolutely thrilled to be joining such a brilliant show.
'Holby City is renowned for its quality storytelling and I'm excited for the audience to meet Eli and watch the drama that unfolds on his arrival.'
Sean Gleeson, Series Producer of Holby City, added: 'We're delighted that Davood has joined us.
'We are more than excited to welcome Davood from EastEnders to Holby and know that he is going to be a fantastic addition to our cast.'
The move means Davood may well join forces with his former on-screen brother Shaheen Jafargholi at some point - as they are both working in the same hospital.
Former EastEnders star Shaheen portrays Marty Kirkby in Holby's sister show Casualty, and he previously played Kush's sibling Shakil Kazemi.
Shaki was tragically killed off in May 2018 when he was stabbed to death in a knife attack as part of a teen gang storyline.
EastEnders spoilers: Nancy Carter disappears from Walford as deadly secret unearthed? .
EASTENDERS favourite Nancy Carter could be set to make a disappearance from Walford as the secret she has been hiding from her family since she returned to the Square is finally revealed.The drama kicks off in the aftermath of Mick and Linda learning what Nancy has been hiding from them since she made her unexpected return.