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A twist too far?

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Anne Diamond | 12:19 UK time, Thursday, 6 January 2011

The cot death storyline in EastEnders is too much for many. I've been asked on numerous programmes on radio and TV to give my view. I wish the producers and story editors hadn't felt the need to add the "baby swap" plot line - as if a cot death weren't tragic enough for modern drama!

But it has given me a great chance, at least, to remind everyone of the cot death advice -which works so well that it got the cot death rate down from 2,500 per year to 300 a year. That was in 1991, but the rate has stuck stubbornly at 300 ever since...

The most important two points:

1. Babies should lie on their backs to sleep and

2. Never let any smoke anywhere near your baby.

There is, of course, lots more guidance about "reducing the risk" of cot death. For the best advice go to the website for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths, or this page on the BBC Health website.


  • Comment number 1.

    I agree with Anne Diamond, the BBC has made a farce over the cot death of Cat's baby and the baby swap storyline.

  • Comment number 2.

    I don't watch Eastenders but I saw your interview this evening on BBC News 24 and marvelled at your straightforward and articulate interview. Is there any chance it might be posted somewhere for those that missed it?

  • Comment number 3.

    I do agree that this a very sensitive issue and could be very upsetting for many viewers, it is very far-fetched. The issue should have been addressed in a more appropriate manner that viewers can relate to. However, I do not believe that EastEnders was trying to portray mothers who have been through this as 'deranged baby-snatchers'. Ronnie's character shows an extremely troubled woman who has seen one child killed and recently had a miscarriage. After also being abused by her father, Ronnie would understandably be deeply disturbed and act irrationally. The storyline is looking at someone who has serious psychological problems. She did this in the heat of the moment and when she began to understand the seriousness of her actions, it was too late to take the baby back. If people find the scenes upsetting, they should simply turn it off.

  • Comment number 4.

    I think the Sun's readership has been cynically manipulated in order to sell the paper. Cot death, infant abduction happens, mental health issue are clear to see and its a SOAP , for goodness sake!the actress should get over her self...its a part in a job thats paid her very well. stop whingeing!Larry lamb didnt fuss and he played an incestuouse child abuser. No wonder the Ronnie character is haunted. I love all the story lines, improbable or otherwise as I consider myself adult enough to understand the reality.Dont bow down to the dumming down...

  • Comment number 5.

    I completely agree with you Ann, that it was a twist too far, and made a ridiculous drama out of something that is hugely distressing in its own right. As you say, it has got people talking about cot death which is good as it may help to reduce that 300 even more, but I don't think they needed this strange and offensive plot. I remember they had a really sad and sensitive storyline about cot death with the Omar family in the 80's, which really did a lot to highlight this issue. This time they have really just trivialised the matter though.


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