Former EastEnders star Samantha Womack has admitted that the controversial storyline in which her character Ronnie Mitchell snatched Kat Moon’s baby was not ‘realistic’.

The plot, in which Ronnie swapped Kat’s son for her own after he died of cot death, was one of the most complained about in the soap’s history.

However speaking to the Mirror the actress said, “I thought it was implausible. Most women who lose a child would not go out and abduct one,” she says. “But Ronnie is a soap character and she is not necessarily representing real life.

“Soap is based on controversy and sensationalism because bosses are trying to get high ratings and they can’t write things like ‘Ronnie had a cup of tea’. Otherwise people wouldn’t watch it.”

The storyline eventually culminated in Ronnie leaving Albert Square after she was sent to prison, but Samantha – who is now touring the UK in the musical South Pacific – has denied she quit in protest at the public reaction.

“It was emotionally and physically exhausting,” she confessed. “It was the right time for Ronnie to be put to bed. I also left because you can end up being typecast.

“If you want to do good work, you have to take yourself out of your comfort zone. It was very frightening leaving a job that I got on so well in and it did feel like a very big risk.”