EastEnders paedophile story cleared

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap. There’s still time to enter this week’s caption competition so get scribbling and make us all laugh.  

The EastEnders paedophile plotline has been cleared of breaching broadcasting rules by watchdog Ofcom. The Communications regulator ruled that Enders’ controversial paedophile plot was handled "appropriately and sensitively" and was not in breach of the broadcasting code.

The story, which ran from September to December last year, drew 90 viewers’ complaints, the majority saying the subject matter wasn’t appropriate for a pre-watershed audience. The plot involved Bianca Jackson’s (Patsy Palmer) partner Tony King (Chris Coghill) abusing her 15-year-old stepdaughter Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty). The abuse had been going on for three years, starting when Whitney was 12.  

Despite viewers’ concerns, Ofcom said that the BBC had ensured the story remained on the concept of grooming and wasn’t sensationalist with regard to the physical aspect of the abuse. Ofcom also pointed out that EastEnders has, over the years, tackled similar issues in storylines, including 13-year-old Kat Slater’s rape by her uncle Harry and Bianca’s under-age relationship with her mother Carol Jackson’s boyfriend, Dan Sullivan.

Finally, Ofcom ruled that the climax, which saw Tony being arrested after Bianca called the police, provided ‘an appropriate conclusion’.

So, what do you think soapsters? Do you agree with Ofcom? Was this EastEnders paedophile storyline handled "appropriately and sensitively"? Let us know what you think by clicking ‘add a comment’.

That’s it for me, I’m out of here. Join me on Friday for more soap news and gossip and the results of last weeks caption competition. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.

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17 Responses to EastEnders paedophile story cleared

  1. shilla says:

    I warch soaps , I think that sorryline was a good education hint it\’s conclusion of arrest shows . The are losts of strange people out there.

  2. Raymond says:

    I think the 90 viewers need to get a life, these things happen in life…and not always after 9pm.

  3. Jane says:

    This sort of thing happens everyday in reality so in actual fact it would be more wrong not to include it. It was done sensitively and with careful thought. And the final arrest shows that it is a crime to do what he did and the consequences of those actions are arrest, proceeding, court hearings and possible imprisonment. I do not see that they have done anything wrong.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Take it from someone who was abused, the storyline was handled sensitively. I know it triggered memories for me but it helped me sort of deal with it knowing that there are kids out there who can tell their parents what happened to them.Those 90 people who complained need to really think about what Eastenders have done. They have helped to raise awareness that there are bad things that happen to kids so that parents/guardians/carers know to keep vigilant with their kids and watch for the signs.

  5. Rose says:

    The days of not talking about sensative issues, and sweeping things under the carpet are long gone thank god, For the 90 people who complained about the issues being dramatised to remind us these things do happen , You do have an off button on your TV….

  6. ann says:

    I think it was well done , if it had been shown many years ago it maybe could have saved a lot of heartache to my girls. Children are often abused and they are young when these things happen to them so after the watershed would not help, if young children see that this is wrong maybe it would stop the perpertraitors from doing or if it helps one youngster to pluck up courage top tell someone thats all that matters

  7. helen says:

    I am a social work student, looking at the public perceptions of paedophiles for an assignmnet. The general perception is that paedophiles are strangers, when the reality is that paedophiles – men and women are very often known to the family and are perceived to be people that are trusted. Well done to the producers of Eastenders, by showing this storyline, it has helped to give courage to many children to be able to speak out about what has happened to them. The most important thing is for the person being told, to believe what is being said to them and to contact the police.

  8. trevor says:

    Personally i think it was done in a very understanding way and an eye opener to a lot of people. I think it represented the way in which paedophiles can and do operate. Hopefully this will give parents an open view and i personally believe that if it stops just one incidence of abuse then i give 150% encouragement in the future to follow the storyline even further. It was very entertaining and informative to watch and when i say entertaining i dont by any means ..fun. But it brought it closer to me as aparent of 2 kids just to realize that you really have to be aware of whats going on in my kids lives and look out for any possible signs of abuse, but without getting too paranoid along the way…………………………….well done BBC.

  9. Brenda says:

    I think the story was dealt with very good and children need to know what people are out their and what they get up too, it was just treated on the surface and not too in depth, BC.

  10. jo says:

    i think it was delt with brilliantly and due to the story line a my babysiter finally ammitted it was happning to me she stated that had it not been for watching this storyline she wouldnt have realised that what had been happning to her for years was wrong then this came on and she confided in me i thank the story writers for this otherwise people like my friend would still be suffering in silence just to let you all know she is now safe and well and out of harms way thankyou eastenders

  11. tasha says:

    i think that this story was shocking but approiate it opened my eyes 2 the different sorts of abuse out there and if it helps any young children open up 2 families about wots happening 2 them then it is even better. people are always saying that soaps don\’t live up 2 real life and then when a story like this appears on screen they complain that its not approiate 4 television i think people should stop being so naive and start realising that things like this happen all the time 2 young children and its people like them that encourages them 2 suffer in silence.

  12. Dawn says:

    To the 90 viewers who complained about this stroyline, you are very lucky that this hasn\’t affected you..or was the storyline to close to home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Well done to the BBC for this storyline, although it brought back memories for me (were the storywriters in the room whe it was happening or channeling the dead!!!!!!!) as the storyline was so close to my story it was hard to watch. (That was a joke by the way). But if it has helped even ONE person to face what has happended to them, then it was worth it.It certainly has made the subject easier to talk about which is only a good thing.WELL DONE EVERYONE INVOLVED with the storyline.

  13. Johanna says:

    everytime this storyline came on during an episode of EastEnders – I turned the tv over as I do not think that this sort of storyline should be portrayed during peak viewing. We all know it happens and usually involves family members – and although this item was dealt with as carefully as this subject matter could be dealt with – I actually think that the character who played Tony was the wrong character type as he as a person made my flesh crawl! And then they let him carry on with Ian Beale\’s daughter! It would have been very interesting if that story line had continued as it would be challenging to Ian Beale\’s character to have dealt with a heavy storyline instead of being teased about a Little Devil tattoo on his backside.

  14. Charlotte says:

    as much as people are forever complaining about this sort of thing it is a reality that some children live with and they need to be made aware that it is not right for someone to be doing such things and abusing any trust. wake up those people who complained, this does happen in real life, open your eyes to the real world.

  15. Victoria Lea says:

    switch bloody channels you moaning sods!! honestly, some people watch eastenders because of the real life situations that the carachters deal with so why dont you watch something else if you dont approve? as if peole actually bother to complain about this?

  16. belle says:

    I often wonder what goes through the minds of such people who complain about a pedo storyline in a soap opera. Sure, it\’s an uncomfortable, vicious and horrifying tale, but such things happen in real life. Instead of complaining, why not donate some money to the NSPCC or volunteer at a shelter. I hope that by airing this subject a child or parent of a child that is being sexually abused will see the light and get help.I applaude the Producers of Eastender for tackling such a relevant and heartbreaking issue.

  17. tom says:

    If someone needs to rely on a soap like Eastenders to find out if their children are being molested I would say that they ought to turn the tv off and watch their children instead. I advise anyone who is intending to report a paedophile to the Police or NSPCC to think very carefully before they do. I reported one in June 2007 and the Police did nothing, they told him it was me who had reported him and allowed him and his 14 year old victim to get away with leaving a continuous stream of threats and filth on my answerphone that only stopped when my solicitor threatened legal action. The paedophile now feels safe enough to have a page on Bebo full of children and young mothers he is in contact with. I still have the audio recording of this sickening individual trying to get a child to engage in sex with him that the Police refuse to listen to, so they leave him alone and follow me when I\’m out in my car, what a weird world we live in.

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