EastEnders star Shona McGarty is to record her first pop songs after she was given some expensive studio time by Florence + the Machine’s manager.

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The 21-year-old star – who plays wild Whitney Dean in the BBC One soap – told The Sun newspaper: “I’m always writing and singing my own songs so I am going into the studio to record some of them.”

Friends believe McGarty – who performed Sam Cooke’s A Change is Gonna Come on Children in Need – could quit EastEnders if she was offered a record deal.

One pal explained: “People liked her performance on Children in Need so who knows?”

But McGarty insists she has no plans to leave the programme, adding: “It isn’t anything official, they are just for my own personal use. I have no plans to leave EastEnders.”

Former EastEnders stars Martine McCutcheon, Sid Owen and Sean Maguire all formed pop careers following their stints on the show, while other famous soap stars including ex-Neighbours actress Kylie Minogue and Coronation Street’s Tracy Shaw have also turned to music.