'EastEnders' star McGarty suspended without pay15/07/2012 - 11:37:03
Shona McGarty has been suspended from 'EastEnders'.
The 20-year-old actress - who plays Whitney Dean in the BBC One soap - was handed a four-week suspension without pay by executive producer Lorraine Newman after she failed to turn up on time for filming on a number of occasions, which led to complaints from fellow cast and crew members.
A BBC source said: "Shona failed to turn up on time on more than one occasion and was really laid back about why she was late.
"People are understanding when it's once or even twice but her lateness was becoming a huge problem.
"It regularly held up the filming of vital scenes and angered fellow cast and crew members who were forced to work late because of her.
"Like all soaps, everyone works long, hard days so when things are prolonged because of one person it doesn't go down well on set.
"There were a lot of unhappy people so Lorraine had no choice but to take action. Shona was read the riot act and apologised for her behaviour.
"Obviously, she's not happy about what's happened and was quite upset about it all afterwards."
An 'EastEnders' spokesman said: "Shona has been suspended for repeatedly being late."
McGarty also felt the wrath of Lorraine - who was appointed executive producer on a permanent basis last month - in May when she was caught smearing herself suggestively with yoghurt in a supermarket with boyfriend and co-star Matt Lapinskas (Anthony Moon).
Matt has since been dropped from the soap and is set to film his exit storyline, which will be played out this autumn.
The source added to the Daily Star Sunday: "Lorraine is very well respected. She doesn't take any nonsense and believes everyone should feel privileged to be working on a show like 'EastEnders'. So when people fall out of line she's not afraid to pull them back in again.
"Shona's behaviour had come to her attention on a number of occasions. She's dealt with it and that will be the end of it.
"Shona is a great talent and her character is very popular with the fans. Let's hope she can start to knuckle down now."
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