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'EastEnders' Dean Gaffney "devastated" by Gemma McCluskie fears

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Dean Gaffney

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Archive

Dean Gaffney has said that he is "utterly devastated" over the disappearance of his former EastEnders co-star Gemma McCluskie.

McCluskie, who starred on the soap for over 30 episodes as Kerry Skinner in 2001, vanished from her London home on March 1.

A police search for the actress recently led to a female torso being discovered in Regent's Canal in Hackney, but the remains have not yet been formally identified.

"It's tear-jerking to hear what's happening and I'm utterly devastated," Gaffney told The Mirror.

"It's something you see in a movie and there are no words to describe the situation. This was a lovely girl with a heart of gold. I'm speechless and it doesn't make any sense. Not knowing is the hardest thing - it's tear-jerking and totally heart-wrenching."

Gemma McCluskie
Gaffney's character Robbie Jackson was briefly engaged to Kerry during her time on EastEnders. The actor added that he has fond memories of working alongside McCluskie (pictured left).

"She came in and was immediately a very important and instrumental part of the show, causing a ruckus in the characters' lives," he commented.

"She was so popular with all the cast and so small in height that you just wanted to cuddle her - and everyone did. There was a definite connection between us.

"We were engaged [on screen] and it was a silly childish thing for us to do - and then she went off to Ibiza without me. Effectively, she came in, caused a stir and went off. She was an important part of the show and she really shaped my character."

BBC News has reported that a post-mortem examination carried out on the body found in Hackney proved inconclusive. Further investigations could take some days.

A 35-year-old man, thought to be McCluskie's brother, has been arrested in connection with the case and remains in police custody.

> Body found in search for missing EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie
> Man arrested after body found in search for EastEnders' Gemma McCluskie

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