Actress Samantha Womack whose EastEnders character Ronnie Branning was at the centre of a traumatic cot death storyline, will be leaving the show it has been announced.

It is believed that Womack made the decision after having filmed the controversial cot death scenes, which involved Womack’s character swapping her dead baby for the child of another woman.

An insider told The Sun: “The last couple of months at work have been awful for Sam. The first time she read the script, she thought it was wrong and pushed boundaries too far. It was such a sensitive issue, she knew it would cause a huge backlash”.

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Samantha Womack has also talked about the emotional distress she was in while filming the episode.

“I couldn’t stop crying when we were filming the scenes where Ronnie finds her dead baby,” she told Inside Soap magazine.

“I couldn’t switch off when I returned home each day. What Ronnie has been through is such a crushingly awful thing to even pretend might happen to you. I actually felt ill having to portray it.

“We used an expensive silicone doll, and it was so lifelike it upset a lot of people on set. We had to stop and take a break because it was too much.”

The episode, which was aired on New Year’s Eve, has caused plenty of controversy amongst EastEnders fans with almost 3,500 viewers complaining to BBC.

Ofcom has also received 374 viewer complaints.