Dean Gaffney is praying Gemma McCluskie's still alive

Dean Gaffney is distraught about the news his former EastEnders co-star is feared dead after a hacked-up body was found in London.

Gemma McCluskie, who starred in the soap as Kerry Skinner, had been missing for 6 days before the naked, headless torso was found in Hackney’s Regents

Canal on Tuesday.

‘I’m utterly devastated,’ says Dean, 34.

‘I hope and pray it’s not her.’

The remains are yet to be formally identified but detectives fear it is the 29-year-old because

of a distinctive tattoo.

EastEnders’ Robbie Jackson, played by Dean, was briefly engaged to Gemma‘s character Kerry during her time on the show in 2001.

‘She was so popular with all the cast and so small that you just wanted to cuddle her,’ Dean tells the Daily Mirror.

‘There was a definite connection between us.’

Gemma‘s brother Tony, 35, who she shared a flat with in Bethnal Green, is believed to have been arrested on Wednesday and held on suspicion of murder.

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