Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

EastEnders baby swap complaints

Samantha Womack's character Ronnie was embroiled in the Eastenders baby swap plot.
Samantha Womack's character Ronnie was embroiled in the Eastenders baby swap plot.

EastEnders bosses defended the show's baby swap storyline after it sparked more than 3,000 complaints to become one of the soap's most controversial plots.

Around 3,400 viewers have voiced concerns to the BBC about the episodes, in which tragic Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack) lost baby son James to cot death on New Year's Eve before swapping him for Kat Moon's (Jessie Wallace) live newborn, Tommy.

Only one other EastEnders story has prompted more complaints, when Danielle Jones was killed in a car crash moments after Ronnie found out the teenager was her daughter. More than 7,000 viewers contacted the BBC about that episode, which was broadcast in April 2009.

Executive producer Bryan Kirkwood said: "We appreciate this is a challenging storyline and have taken care to ensure viewers were aware of the content in advance of transmission.

"We also provided actionline numbers at the end of each show, offering advice and support to those affected by the issues."

Monday's episode, in which Ronnie struggled to cope with the baby and Kat did not recognise the dead child as her own, was seen by 10.6 million viewers.

Viewers have been registering their complaints since the storyline was revealed in November. It is thought that online lobbying action accounts for some of the objections.

The soap has worked with the Foundation for Sudden Infant Deaths (FSID) to ensure the issue is portrayed accurately.

EastEnders chiefs toned down some scenes from its New Year's Eve episode after a preview screening.

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Sagittarius:

Expressing your creative side is strongly advised. Take this opportunity to write, paint or play music. Relatives may not appreciate your work, but that doesn't matter. The important thing is to satisfy your own taste. People who are daring and experimental will appreciate your efforts. Don't be surprised if you're given a chance to showcase your work in a magazine, boutique or gallery. Fame and acclaim can be yours, so long as you're willing to follow your instincts.More