BBC receives 6,000 complaints for soap

More than 6,000 complaints about an Eastenders plot had been logged with the BBC last night and the number is expected to keep rising.

The public reaction was sparked by the storyline in which which Ronnie Branning, played by Samantha Womack, steals a newborn baby after her losing her own to cot death.

BBC executives were forced into defending the plot which was criticised as sensationalist and unrealistic. The website Mumsnet was among the critics. "We appreciate this is a challenging storyline," said executive producer Bryan Kirkwood.

The level of fury has been exceeded only once before – when more than 7,000 viewers objected to the death of Danielle Jones.

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