Family and friends of Gemma McCluskie of Bethnal Green are desperate for news after unidentified body found in East End

Family and friends of missing EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie from Bethnal Green are desperately waiting for news after a body was found in an East End canal.

Police were called to reports of a body found in the Regents Canal

near Broadway Market, at about 2.40pm, yesterday.

A friend of Gemma said: “We fear and hope for Gemma, and hope this has nothing to do with Gemma.”

Friends have also been posting messages online asking people to light candles for Gemma and keep their hopes up.

Enquiries are underway to establish the identity of the deceased, according to police.

A police spokesman said: “A post-mortem will be scheduled in due course. At this moment the death is being treated as unexplained.”

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Gemma, who starred as Kerry Skinner in 30 episodes of Eastenders, has been missing since last Thursday.

Anyone with information should call police on 0207 275 4589.