EastEnders boss defends baby swap storyline

EastEnders' executive producer Bryan Kirkwood has defended a grim New Year storyline, which sees its characters deal with a cot-death tragedy

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Samantha Womack

EastEnders actress Samantha Womack

EastEnders' boss has defended the soap's morbid baby swap storyline.

Bryan Kirkwood - executive producer of the BBC One show - explained the "dark" story, which shows Ronnie Branning discovering her newborn baby dead and then swapping it with Kat Moon's child, will be countered with other scenes showing "friendship, fun and festivities".

He said: "We took great pains to make sure the rest of the episode showed a community with a lot of love. We see a lot of friendships, fun and festivities, and we hope these counter the inevitable darkness of this story."

In the graphic scenes, Ronnie (Samantha Womack) is seen brushing her lifeless baby with the back of her hand, while Kat (Jessie Wallace) is in blood-soaked pyjamas as she's rushed to hospital by her husband Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) after suffering from a haemorrhage .

However, Bryan defended the scenes, which have been criticised for being unbelievable.

He told The Sun newspaper: "We went to great pains to see that the babies were born in different circumstances and we took advice from a maternity nurse on how the story could come about in real life. I think there is an absolute believability to how the events unfold.

"It's high drama, which 'Eastenders' has a 25-year history of delivering. We deliver big, big gritty stories that chime with the audience, and I think that's what these stories do. It's undoubtedly a bold storyline. I'm very proud of the episodes."

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