EastEnders‘ Shona McGarty has revealed how she played it cool with boyfriend Matt Lapinskas before they began dating.

The 20-year-old actress, who plays Whitney Dean in EastEnders, has been seeing her co-star, who plays Anthony Moon, for four months.

“The first time I ever saw him was when I saw a photo of the two new Moon boys. I was with Jacqueline [Jossa – Lauren Branning] at the time and she couldn’t get a word in. I thought he was so good-looking!” she told New!

“But I was trying to be quite cool about it, playing hard to get. The first time I met him… I just walked off. It was really embarrassing,” she added.

While she tried to play down her emotions, Shona realised her feelings for 22-year-old Matt at a family gathering.

“There was a bit of nervous hesitation on my part. I’d be very well-behaved when he was around – not as giggly or chatty – so everyone knew something was going on! Then me and Matt just became really good friends,” she recalled.

“One weekend, I went to a family barbecue of his and it was absolutely amazing. That’s where I knew that I really, really liked him. I just realised what an amazing person he is and also how amazing his family is.”

The actress joked that she was a ‘nightmare girlfriend’, adding: “I’m never on time – I’m actually a nightmare as a girlfriend. I don’t know how he puts up with me.”