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EastEnders “Cot Death” Story Causes Uproar On Twitter

EastEnders “Cot Death” Story Causes Uproar On Twitter

For those of you who tuned in over Christmas and New Year to one of Britain’s longest running soap operas “EastEnders,” you may have been a little shocked and saddened by just one of the story lines that made it onto our screens. The story of Ronnie Branning and the subsequent death of her new baby son James.

As Metro reported, the episode screened on New Year’s Eve found Ronnie realising that her new baby son had died in his cot. It shows Ronnie walking around Albert Square in a complete trance and then making her way to the Queen Vic pub where in an act of desperation swaps James with Kat Moon’s new son Tommy. Only later, does Ronnie realise what she has done and as the Mirror reported, she says, “I’m gunna give you straight back to your mummy… Please forgive me.”

Twitter the online social networking site, which has become home for many including celebrities to tweet their very own thoughts on different topics, has now become inundated with comments of sadness and anger, with many saying that EastEnders producers of the storyline have taken things a little too far. Some comments include that from esterella1 who tweeted, “Don’t like the EastEnders storyline of Ronnie’s baby dying and then swapping him with Kat’s. It’s sick, why can’t anyone on that show be happy.”

For some time, Ronnie’s character has been subject to various story lines including that of, finding and then seeing her daughter Danielle get killed, an abusive childhood in the hands of her father and also a past miscarriage.

Tell us what you class as topical storylines and where it over steps the mark? Let us know your thoughts.

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Comments (41)

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  1. sharon says:

    its not 'sick' its real life for some poor people. as long as eastenders handle the subject sensitively then it should cause no more 'out rage' than any other storyline. it also helps highlight that SIDS really is a reality for some families sadly.

    • karleigh says:

      it is sick was very upsetting for me my family and friends .. as my son passed away 8 weeks ago at the age of 9 months and it really brought it all back up again .. i know its real life … but it didnt have to be brought up and in so much detail .. i will never watch eastenders agin !

    • SJX says:

      I agree completely, what is shocking me more than this storyline to me, is people saying "Its sick, it upset me" - so this storyline is going too far, but what about murder, sickness, rape, mental health, attempted murder, crack addiction, alcohol abuse…..

      I just am so suprised that individuals are saying its wrong because it affects them personallym but every issue is going to affect someone, somewhere, so we cant all have it where it doesnt affect us everytime, its either this way, or dont watch television at all.

      Yes of course the swap is dramatised because that wouldnt happen, but its a soap, and all this press is only going to do good for the charity itself.

  2. dawn garman says:

    there was no need for that story line it was sick and you just lost a family that use to watch

  3. kim barrett says:

    i think the eastender stor line is so verey wrong thay should have never done the story line sick sick sick

  4. Melissa says:

    I Agree. Why Does Everthign Have To Be So Bad For Ronnie. I Feel Extremly Sorry For Her, She Deserves Better, Writers You Have A Great Mind But Why Did You Have To Make Ronnie's Baby Die? Not Only That, Kat Thinks Her Son Is Dead! But Soon Realizes He's Not Hers. But Stil. Why Do You Have To End Things So Disturbing For Ronnie And Kat. They Both Deserve A Happy Life. And If Having A Proper Happy Family (For Once!) With Ronnie Let her Have That Happiness! And Kat And Alfie Shouldn't Have To Deal With The Fact That Their Baby "Tommy" Is Dead! When He Is Living Just Oppisite Them. Writers You Can Do Better Then This! But Please Let Us See Ronnie Be Happy For Once!

    • Sahar says:

      I agree with showing cot death, but feel sadden that firstly Ronnie character has a sad end to it again but to show the swap of the babies takes this too far. To show one family distraught is bad enough but to show another when they really have no reason to be is going too far. I just only hope the truth comes out soon because I really can't take the distress its causing the moon family, it's really unfair. Cot deaths are reality but how much is reality that babies will be swapped after cot death. I enjoy watching the show cause it portraits really life but this is too far….

    • jess says:

      i agree nice life

  5. Debs says:

    I find it really sad that the writers have had to stoop so low to win viewing figures with this storyline. Granted cot death is a real issue but they could have handled it in a more delicate way. Would it have been so bad to inject some humour and happiness into the Square instead of such awful misery?

  6. Pixie says:

    I think it has gone way to far it is bringing to bigger depressing subjects and also may bring back terrible memorys, they only seem to care about the making money side and not other people's experiences and feelings.

  7. Millie says:

    Sad Story. I Wish Ronnie Got The Happiness She Deserves But I Guess Theres Such Thing As Happiness In Her Life. . . Unfortunatly :(

  8. Susan says:

    I hate this story line, it is so ridiculous and un needed! I supose its only a soap but eastenders is getting a bit over the top!!!:/

  9. Anonymous says:

    In all retrespect, I really think this is going too far. EastEnders has always tackled these very sensitive storylines well, better than any other soap can do. I watched these episodes, and will continue to do so, and, whilst they were shocking and harrowing, they raised awareness and were very realistic. I think EastEnders is completely right to handle such a gritty topic, as they regularly do very well. If people would not wish to view the episodes, it is a simple matter of grabbing the remote and switching over the channel. It is not a law to watch EastEnders. A survey was conducted on Digital spy, and an average of 86.72% agreed that the episodes were of high-quality performance and gripping. The remainder of 11% proves that people are happy witht this storyline and EastEnders and BBC should not be discouraged from people who will claim they will not watch yet sit down and watch, then come on the internet to complain. I have total confidence in EastEnders, and, from what I’ve seen, there is plenty of positive remarks. I greatly praise Bryan Kirkwood and all the other people in charge of EastEnders & BBC for their brave, harrowing cot death storyline and I hope they will continue to do so. Well done, EastEnders!

  10. Tracey says:

    sick storyline..thought corrie was bad this year but eastenders has just gone too far as soaps go emmerdale's only one that's got anything worth watching.

  11. bill says:

    The story line is utter tosh and irresponsible. The producers plan to spin this out for some time.Do you really believe that the post mortem - required in all cot deaths - would not spot that the child on then table is not the same as the child in the hospital medical records ? By checking the records it would be established forensically that the baby is Ronnie's followed by a swift arrest for a very serious offence. The BBC has lost its moral compass.The fact that it is a soap is no excuse.
    The issue of cot death could have been handled with great sensitivity as there are important issues on how families cope,how the authorities handle the subsequent investigations.
    The problem is not the cot death but the hijacking of an important subject by the writers to pursue a ridiculous baby swap plot to build audience figures.By the way to "Anonymous" it is retrospect.Your spelling is as bad as your logic.Large audience figures do not mean anything. There were huge turnouts for public executions but it did not make them right.

  12. lynn says:

    I think it's a shame that such talented writers felt the need to surround such a tragic and realistic fact of life with such a ridiculous twist. I agree with comments made previously that Eastenders have been very brave in the past in tackling difficult and sensitive subjects in a ways that raise awareness. However, the 'baby-swap' addition was, in my opinion, a step too far. It took a credible and tragic storyline and turned it into a pantomime.

  13. tracey says:

    i think its quiet disturbing and eastenders have swooped to a new low will not be watching it as i find it oo upsetting it must be horrendous to watch for people who have been through the trauma of cot death …..

  14. Anita says:

    Obviously cot death is an absolutely terrible experience, but it happens. If people are so bothered by it, don't watch it. Instead of complaining, just switch the channel.. It isn't hard. Of course it's a very sad story to cover, but it's real life, and if people can't handle it, don't watch the episodes.

  15. Janet says:

    An avid watcher of Eastenders, I have not watched since that dreadful episode.I changed channels before the end. I found the way the topic was handled, insensitive, unrealistic,unprofessional ; downright cruel and macabre. I understand that the soaps are required to carry an Health Education story line, this one was misplaced , badly timed and unnecessary.Could we have some feedback from the producers?

  16. paul doe says:

    realy sick cot death bad but then to swap the babys eastenders should be boycotted

  17. anon says:

    I agree with the negative comments regarding the baby death/swop storyline. Do the writers realize the devastating effect this has had on many people. I have had contact from many very distressed people, at a time of year when hope for the future has kept them going - until these eipisodes were transmitted!! Too late to change the storyline now but the trauma for many will be ongoing for months to come leaving others to try to help individuals pick up the pieces

  18. warren says:

    I am from Africa and I have never came across such scene's back home. The scenes is very distressing . And I am not even a mother..

    Soaps were supposed to inspire people and motivate them but this Eastenders has lost the plot. There is not many cot deaths in the Uk or from the places I came from. I am a medcial doctor and I know well.

    A mother will never leave a new born baby alone but the scene's in Eastenders was evil !

    I am so proud I am not British after seeing this recent distresssing scene's.

  19. EastendersFan says:

    I kinda agree, Why cant they let somebody be happy for once. I for one, would of loved to see little James and Tommy grow up together.
    + And i thought the whole swapping babies scenario was slightly a bit to much like the footballers wives storyline when Tanya swapped the babies.
    But of course, that was for different reasons, but still, one of the babies died.
    How morbid O.o

  20. iamlegend says:

    doesnt she remember wtf her baby looked like?

  21. rachel says:

    i know it is easy to change the channel but i feel people who just look at this as a story maybe have not felt the pain of losing a child. Im all for such subjects being portrayed and acted out to show the issues around such subjects. However, to swap the babies is too far, they have overlooked the real issues because all ya want is for the babies to be switched back. As a mother who has also lost a child its one thing to watch a mothers grief but another to have to watch it unnecessarily as its not her baby. Plus the info mothers are bombarded with about cot death is ridiculous we dont need it at new year for 'entertainment' an ps give ronnie a break. Rant over

  22. Pauline says:

    I am so shocked to think that we have enough sadness in our lives that the writers have put this baby story line in not only that a baby dies but that they have to swop babies, i will never watch eastenders again, don't you think people go through enough heart ach with out watch or so people have relive this it was terrible

  23. paigen says:

    i think that the ronnie and kats babies storyline is sad and it really angers me acctually, i know that some people do experience it but ronnie has not had any happiness since being on the show. i just hope she opens her gob and gives the baby back

  24. Actorgirl says:

    Just have to say, I have not been able to watch EastEnders in a while (they quit showing it here, unfortunately), so I haven't been able to see this storyline…. however, this type of storyline is a staple in American soaps. In fact, one of them, One Life to Live, did a very similar storyline just over a year ago. A young woman gave birth- her child was stillborn, but she went to a hospital, knowing her cousin had recently given birth as well, and switched the babies. No-one thought twice about it; the 'who's the daddy' and 'babyswitch' storylines are actually rather tired cliche's in American soaps. Granted, EastEnders is FAR more realistic than any American soap could ever HOPE to be, and maybe that makes a difference. Most American soap watchers don't expect them to bear much resemblance to real life at all.

    I have to agree with the idea that EastEnders (and soaps in general) are often simply WAY too dark, and it is/would be nice to see some happiness, humour and laughter amidst the drama, tension and angst.

  25. Em says:

    This stroy line is terrible. Ronnie’s character is ridiculous.

    Her sister has a baby with her then boyfriend (now husband); her father

    sexually abuses her, tells her that her daughter is dead to find out she is alive, who then subsequently dies. Ronnie’s family refuse to believe she was absued, her own mother was aware of it and decided to abandon her child. Her father actions lead to the death of her unborn baby. Her business (the club) fails. At on point she is blamed for the murder of her father. The father of her miscarried baby was found murdered under the tree in the square. Her husband misses the birth of their son and baby James dies a day later. This was the last straw……eastenders please get a grip!

  26. eeFan says:

    i too would have liked to see Tommy and James grow up together and Kat and Ronnie develop close friendship since neither one of them has any real girlfriend (a friendship Tanya and Jane). I think the writers are trying to imitate with the American soaps which are losing viewers and being cancelled - not a wise move.

  27. Linda says:

    Just could not watch last nights episode, too disturbing! Probably wont now for a while. Being pregnant again myself for the third time now, this storyline has put me right off to watch Eastenders. Also a mother knows what her newborn looks like in all detail, its etched on her brain! The script writers need to get it together!

  28. gone too far says:

    Stopped watching this depressing rubbish sometime ago ! a real drop in standards by the bbc :-(

  29. whit says:

    I dont think they should have swapped the babies. If it was a cot death it would show what normal people have to go through. But having the babies swapped and no one knowing is sick !!!!

  30. Brenda says:

    When is this story line going to end. I fully sympathise with all parents who have gone through the loss of a baby, but please end this storyline as I along with many other viewers i'm sure feel you have intruded into the lives of parents who have gone through this and are still finding it very hard.
    "It's not going to get brownie points for the Soap Awards." if thats what the writers think!

  31. Nicola says:

    I totally agree with all the other comments. This is a sickening storyline and turns my stomach to watch it. It is bad enough a baby has died but to swap babies and the viewers have to watch what unfolds is sick. This story line needs to be quickly re-written and everything put right for Kat and Alfie. You are repulsing avid viewers and losing viewers when there is no need for it. Sort it out !!!!!

  32. Heather says:

    After watching eastenders for years, i fell that they have finally gone to far ! In all fairness the cot death storyline was done with a good intention but has been ruined and all focus is on the OUTRAGES story of Ronnie swapping the two infants, personally I think that is sick.
    This show is suppose to portray really life ? How often in really life will something like this actually occur!
    I cannot believe eastenders has stooped so low to get ratings !

  33. J says:

    I’m a father who lost his little baby girl to SIDS two years ago. I opted not to watch this storyline until today. The pain doesn’t go away but as each day passes you learn to live with that pain. No parent wants to bury their child. You don’t want to let them go! You want to hold them forever. THEY CANNOT be replaced.

  34. Ann says:

    I have not watched Eastenders since this terribly sad story line started and don't know if I ever will . I can't see why they had to take it so far. Why choose Ronnie's character, as she has gone through so much already. Could she not have a happy ending for once, and why take it a step further and involve another family to believe they have lost their baby. Surely Eastenders can think of better story lines than this.

  35. kac says:

    EastEnders has always been my favourite program but since the story line about Ronnies babies death I am starting to get disappointed about it and why have a person like Ronnie have to loose another kid, my mum will no watch it because it is to sad and the only reason why I am watching it, is to see if Ronnie will give the baby back to Kat. I hope you agree with my comment

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