EastEnders star Shane Ritchie on the perils of kissing Laura Whitmore every night in steamy scenes for upcoming theatre tour

WHILE many may dream of getting up close and personal with stunning Laura Whitmore, actor Shane Ritchie has joked he was rather reluctant.

The pair have teamed up for a touring production of Peter James’ Not Dead Enough and will be getting steamy on stage each evening.

Discussing the relationship between their characters, Shane joked: “I hate it. I have to kiss her – I’m forced to kiss her!”

When asked by host Susanna Reid if she’d switched from TV presenting to acting to get up close and personal with the actor, Laura laughed: “That’s pretty much it.

“I’ve been auditioning for EastEnders and everything and now finally I got cast with you.”

“It’s a good gig,” Shane smiled.

The pair proceeded to blush when quizzed how often their characters are forced to lock lips.

They joked: "We like to mix it up."

Taking it back to the tour, Laura said: “There’s other stuff going on in the play as well.”

Shane said: “Those who are familiar with the books know that my character’s wife went missing ten years ago and we don’t know if she went missing or was abducted.”

Piers Morgan joked: “Well there’s no darker psychological thriller than EastEnders.”

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The dark play will be touring the country from FebruaryCredit: ITV

The play is based on Peter James' multi-million selling Not Dead Enough from his Roy Grace series.

It focuses on detective Roy who is investigating character Brian Bishop after he murdered his wife.

However, with Brian being sixty miles away and asleep in his bed when the crime occurred – has someone stolen his identity or is he simply a very clever liar?

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