Bryan Kirkwood - latest on Kat and Ronnie storyline

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In response to some of the comments regarding the current Ronnie and Kat storyline, Executive Producer Bryan Kirkwood has written the following blog post about the decision to conclude the storyline in the Spring:

EastEnders has a long tradition of dealing with social issues in a powerful and dramatic way. In its 25 years it has tackled many taboo subjects from HIV to paedophilia, matching drama with public service in a way that has continually kept it as one of the most talked about shows on television.

When we embarked on the story of Ronnie and Kat it was very much with this in mind. We researched extensively to make sure we would be both factually correct and emotionally truthful.

We received enormous help from charities, health professionals and bereaved parents themselves, who went out of their way to advise the story-liners, writers and actors. Our aim was - and still is - to tell a strong story that would, in the telling - raise the profile of Cot Death in the UK.

It's clear that we've managed to do this, and that traffic to the FSID's website has increased by over 500%; but we are also mindful of the fact that in doing so, sections of our audience have found the storyline challenging.

EastEnders never sets out to upset its audience; not only would it be counter-productive, it would be a breach of a long-established trust that we can deliver truthful stories that inspire debate in a way that's acceptable to a family audience.

Although we have had complaints we have also had positive responses from people who have been through the experiences we are currently dramatising who feel we've done this and have contacted us to offer their backing.

A large portion of audience are watching and being supportive of the storyline so we owe those viewers the opportunity to continue to engage with it and see the storyline through to it's rightful conclusion.

Whenever we embark on a story at EastEnders we always leave it open-ended to monitor and listen to audience reaction. With this in mind we are going to bring the story to a close on screen in the Spring.

As the story progresses and Kat is reunited with her child, we hope to explore the impact of the tragic events that have befallen the characters in a way that is powerful, but true to the best public service tradition of the show.

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