EastEnders baby swap storyline cleared by Ofcom

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 2 August 2011
Samantha Womack

Samantha Womack

EastEnders' controversial baby swap storyline has been cleared by TV watchdog Ofcom as ''justified''

EastEnders' baby swap storyline has been cleared by TV watchdog Ofcom as "justified".

After the shock plot - which saw disturbed Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack) swap her dead son with the body of Kat Moon's (Jessie Wallace) baby - sparked more than 13,000 complained from distressed viewers, BBC One bosses decided to cut the controversial storyline short.

With the climax brought to an end months earlier than planned, Ofcom ruled the scenes were "not unduly disturbing or graphic".

The report states: "While the storyline was about a sensitive and emotive issue, it is Ofcom's view that the actual scenes broadcast were not unduly disturbing or graphic.

"Ofcom considered for the regular 'EastEnders' audience, the storyline would not have exceeded their expectations given that the soap is well known for presenting a range of challenging and, at times, controversial issues."

Meanwhile, regulators ruled the scenes did not suggest Ronnie's actions were typical of all women suffering from the trauma of cot death, but were spurred on by the various losses she experienced throughout her tragic life.

The report added: "These included her losing the daughter she had been forced to give up for adoption at 14, her desperation to have a baby and the tragedy she had experienced when she had miscarried, and the recent revelation of sexual abuse by her father.

"Whilst the loss of baby James was a catalyst, Ronnie's reaction was born out of extreme personal trauma in her life and not as the direct and sole consequence of losing her baby."

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