I was a huge fan of Eastenders. I watched the very first episode and followed the Beale's, Fowler's, Watts, Carpenters, Osmond's and Cottons every week. I kept this up right up until February last year when it finally tipped me over the edge and now with the storyline that will play out tonight I have to say that I may never watch it again. A once proud soap is now being ruined by sensational story lines and unbelievable plot lines as well as some of the worst writing I have ever seen. Every soap goes through highs and lows but Eastenders at the moment is a disaster and it annoys the hell out of me.
Juts in case you aren't aware the storyline is that Ronnie has had a baby boy, as have Kat and Alfie. Ronnie's baby unfortunately dies of cot death and she then swaps her dead baby for Kat's who then goes through a funeral thinking her child is dead. I'm sorry but what planet are these idiots on that they think they can cheapen something that is so terrible for television ratings?. They quite frankly need to look in the mirror and see if they have any shame left in their souls. I am so angry about this I'm trying desperately not to swear as I can feel the anger burning inside of me as I write this. Too cheapen something so sad beggars belief.
This could have been done with huge compassion and tenderness. It could have been a way of bringing this terrible tragedy right to the front of peoples minds. Instead they have chased ratings once again. In choosing Ronnie as the character who does this as well they have cheapened the whole storyline. Remember I said at the start that I stopped watching it about 18 months ago? That was when hey killed of her daughter. Instead of giving people the ending they wanted they killed her off. Since then she has suffered a miscarriage as well and now this!. Do these scriptwriters get paid in peanuts? Can they not think of anyone better to carry this storyline?. Me? Personally I would have had it being Kat and Alfie, I take nothing away from Samantha Janus as an actress I think she is superb, but Jessie Wallace and Shane Ritchie dealing with this as a couple would have a far greater impact than portraying a grieving woman as a lunatic who will cover the death of her own child so as she gets what she wants.
I am lucky, I have four healthy beautiful children. I used to check them every hour when they were babies because although we did everything they told us to do, you always want to make sure they are okay don't you?. All of the hard work that charities have done over the years to reduce this awful experience for any new parents is going to be wiped away by stupid writers of a once great soap for the sake of television ratings. Until the ex-producer goes and they get new writer's I will not be watching it again. I feel that strongly about this.
You may find this next piece upsetting but I feel its relevant and I have the permission of a friend of mine who was touched by this to use this in this blog as he feels so strongly about it as well. It was he who prompted me to write this piece. We chatted about it in the week and he was distraught at what he saw as sensational television for ratings. I shall finish with his words as requested I shall not name him but thank him for allowing me to do this.
"She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She had lots of dark hair and we were so proud Anthony we really were. She was three months old when it happened. No warning nothing. I thought she had slept through the night. I crept into her room and looked into her cot. She looked like she was asleep. I touched her face and she was cold. I stood there for a few moments, then I picked her up and ran out the house to my neighbours. We didn't have a phone, they did. The ambulance came but it was too late she had passed away. That was 35 years ago and I think of her every day. What Eastenders is doing is so, so wrong they will cause more harm than good. It needs to be stopped but we cant do that can we. Please tell my story in your blog. People need to know what its really like. People who lose children this way don't go and swap babies for other babies. They grieve their loss, if they are lucky they become closer as a couple and one day they have another child. Not what this stupid television programme is doing"
I can picture his face as he tells me this and it hasn't got any easier for him down the years. He has gone on and had two more daughters. Both healthy and happy both now married with children of their own. I met him by chance at a job I worked in many years ago. He was my mentor and one of the nicest, kindest people I have ever worked with. A traditional man who believes in marriage and family, a true gent. I still speak to him now and then but that story I have never forgotten. It stays with me as it does him. That's why Eastenders has gone to far this time.