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Early end for Enders baby swap plot

EastEnders bosses are to bring the controversial baby death plot - which has prompted almost 6,000 complaints from viewers - to an early end.

The storyline, in which Ronnie Branning loses her baby son to cot death on New Year's Eve before swapping him with Kat Moon's live newborn, has proved to be one of the most complained-about stories in the show's history.

But now the plot will be resolved in "months", according to the BBC. It had originally been planned to run for considerably longer.

The high-profile storyline is second only to the sudden death of Ronnie's daughter Danielle in a car crash in April 2009, which drew more than 7,000 objections from viewers.

Samantha Womack is to leave the show later this year, although her agent insisted yesterday that the decision was nothing to do with the storyline. He said she was bowing out of the soap as her contract reached a "natural end".

He said: "There's no truth whatsoever in any suggestion that Sam is 'quitting' EastEnders over the current storyline.

"Sam's contract comes to a natural end later this year and she will be taking a break from the show."

The BBC has responded to the floods of complaints, insisting the BBC1 show did not intend to "cause distress or upset".

Show bosses added that viewers would "see the situation resolve itself over the coming months".

© Press Association