The EastEnders cot death baby swap storyline will be brought to a quick conclusion after the BBC was inundated with 6,000 complaints.
Whereas EastEnders usually drags out intrigues over long periods of time, in this case show bosses have promised that viewers will have their minds put at rest in a matter of months.
The controversial storyline saw Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack) swap her dead baby, the victim of cot death, for the baby of Kat and Alfie Moon.
The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), whose helpline is shown at the end of EastEnders episodes focused on the cot death, have gone out of their way to distance themselves from the show.
“FSID had no involvement in the planning or adoption of the specific ‘baby-swap’ plotline,” a spokesperson said.
“The behaviour and actions of Ronnie Mitchell are in no way ‘endorsed’ by FSID as a typical, or even likely, reaction of a bereaved parent.”
Actress Samantha Womack has quit the soap but claims her decision has nothing to do with the cot death storyline. The actress’s agent said yesterday: “Her contract comes to a natural end later this year and she will be taking a break from the show.”
EastEnders bosses have defended their decision to run the storyline, despite agreeing to conclude it sooner than planned.
BBC controller of drama production John Yorke told Radio 4’s World At One programme: “What’s cheering about this – and I do hear the concerns – is that everybody’s talking about cot death and we’re putting it back on the agenda, he added.”
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