EastEnders ‘baby-swap’ verdict

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
January 14, 2011, 7:15 PM GMT+0

On Monday over 1,000 of our British panellists gave their views on whether BBC soap EastEnders had gone too far by showing the newly bereaved Ronnie Branning exchanging her dead baby for Kat Moon’s healthy newborn, and now our nationally representative poll on the subject has found more people think the plot is ‘unacceptable’ than ‘acceptable’.

  • 45% called the plotline ‘unacceptable’
  • 38% felt that it was ‘acceptable’
  • While a substantial 17% of the population said they didn’t know.

The controversial plotline, which drew nearly 9,000 complaints to the BBC [LINK], shows Samantha Womack’s character Branning overrun with grief after her baby dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and exchange her dead baby for Kat Moon’s newly born (and live) one.

The plot has attracted comments and challenges from members of the public, Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts and several SIDS charities, amid claims that it is unrealistic and tars all bereaved women with the same brush. Users of our opinion site TellYouGov have branded the plot ‘sensationalist’ and ‘extremely inappropriate’, but others profess that they ‘can’t see what all the fuss is about’ as it’s ‘only a soap’.

And while BBC director Jana Bennett called the storyline ‘sensitive’, it’s clear that much of the public don’t agree.

See the survey details and full results