EastEnders abuse plot attracts 100 complaints

EastEnders‘ controversial storyline about a paedophile’s relationship with his teenage stepdaughter has sparked more than 100 complaints.

In Friday night’s episode of the BBC1 soap, viewers saw Bianca Jackson’s (Patsy Palmer) boyfriend Tony King, played by Chris Coghill, arrive in Albert Square after serving 12 months in prison.

Viewers watched him sneak into the bedroom of his 15-year-old stepdaughter Whitney Dean – who he groomed prior to being sent to jail – and the pair kissed and fell onto Whitney’s bed in the episode, shown before the 9pm watershed.

The BBC has received 86 complaints, and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom 27 about the plot, which has been called the most controversial soap storyline ever.

The controversy comes weeks after a knife murder on the soap sparked 134 complaints, when the victim was set upon by a criminal gang.

In July, the BBC’s annual report revealed that EastEnders was the BBC’s most complained about programme in the past year. It attracted 5,500 complaints, more than twice that of any other BBC show.

A BBC spokeswoman said of the latest controversy: “EastEnders has a rich heritage of tackling difficult social issues such as domestic violence and mental health.

“Our current storyline about child abuse storyline is another such issue which had been created in association with the NSPCC and in accordance with BBC editorial policy.”

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