EastEnders stars Shona McGarty and James Farrar have revealed the heartbreaking connection one director has to their current storyline in a touching video message reflecting on recent episodes.
Shona, who plays Whitney Dean in the BBC soap, posted the video to Instagram, following episodes that showed the aftermath of baby Peach’s birth.
As explained in the video, Peach was diagnosed with Omphalocele and Edwards’ Syndrome, which led Whitney to make the painful decision to terminate the pregnancy.
The actors went on to thank viewers for their support, praising those who had opened up and shared their stories as a result of the storyline, pointing out how many people are affected by baby loss in some way.
It was then that they revealed director Cóilín Ó Scolaí’s personal connection to the story.
‘He won’t mind me telling you that he wanted to direct this because he unfortunately lost his baby girl, Laoise, eight years ago.’ Shona revealed.
‘And so he found it very important to do this story, and it must have been incredibly difficult.’
Zack actor James added: ‘The courage for him to do that, maybe some solace within it, I don’t know. But thank you Cóilín.’
Cóilín showed his support in the comments of the video, thanking the actors for their kind words.
‘You were both incredible and so committed to doing justice to this story.’ He added. ‘I think it was an important one to tell and when we were filming it was felt by all of the cast, crew and production team, who were so brilliant and supportive of each other. We felt the responsibility that came with it to get it right. And from the feedback all over social media I think we did.
‘As you’ve mentioned, I’m a bereft parent and it never goes away and on behalf of all the parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, grannies and granddads, friends and families who have lost a child, thank you.’
The director himself also took to Twitter to tell his story, explaining how ‘proud’ he was to be involved in the episodes.
I’m extremely proud to have directed tonight’s episode of #Eastenders which explores Zack and Whitney grief after the losing their baby. I directed this during the 8th anniversary of my own little girl Laoise. Grief never leaves you, you learn to live with it.
Whitney and Zack’s story will continue to unfold as they struggle to come to terms with their loss.
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