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EastEnders cot death plot cleared by Ofcom

By Robert Dex

Tv soap EastEnders has been cleared of breaching broadcasting standards over its controversial baby-swap storyline.

The tale, which saw Ronnie Branning (actress Samantha Womack) lose her baby son to cot death on New Year's Eve before swapping him with Kat Moon's newborn baby, attracted record numbers of complaints.

Around 13,400 people complained to the BBC while another 1,044 complained directly to the communication watchdog Ofcom. The BBC ended the storyline earlier than planned in the face of the complaints.

In a report published by Ofcom, the watchdog said viewers had complained it was "an inaccurate, insensitive and sensationalised portrayal of the behaviour of a mother who has lost a baby from cot death".

The watchdog acknowledged the episode shown on New Year's Eve was "in isolation... clearly capable of causing offence" but said the issue should be considered as a whole.

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