As the number of complaints in relation to EastEnders’ cot death storyline hit 12,500, commentators up and down Britain, from broadsheets to gossip rags, online forums to tea shops, mother and toddler groups to old folks homes, have been up in arms saying this plot is grossly insensitive and has well and truly overstepped the line.
The furore shows no signs of dying down; two weeks after Ronnie swapped her baby for Kat’s. The uproar continues to run and run – it’s beginning to feel a bit like an EastEnders storyline in itself.
But, and I have to be honest here, I believe it’s all a big fuss over, well, nothing and is all part of the show’s strategy to keep its spot as Britain’s best-loved soap.
As the old saying goes, all publicity is good publicity. Far from EastEnders’ reputation being in tatters, viewing figures have soared and it is the most talked-about TV programme in the country. This storyline has undoubtedly caused upset and made thousands turn off, but it has hooked hundreds of thousands more and enticed them to switch over to BBC1.
The reputation of soaps is based on their ability to entertain, shock and hook viewers. EastEnders has always pushed the boundaries and it has certainly achieved that with this storyline.
Suzanne Mackie is an account manager at Indigo with five years’ experience dealing with the media. In her downtime, she’s a sucker for soaps, reality shows and American sitcoms.