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Thursday, May 27, 1999 Published at 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK


Entertainment

EastEnders killing too 'macabre'

Martin Kemp as Steve with Tamsin Malleson who plays Melanie

The killing of the EastEnders' character Saskia Duncan should not have been shown before the watershed, according to the Broadcasting Standards Agency.

The TV watchdog upheld viewers complaints about an episode of the BBC soap - broadcast on Valentine's Day earlier this year - and said it was too graphic and disturbing to be shown before nine o'clock when children might be watching.

Saskia, played by Deborah Sheridan, died in a struggle with ex-boyfriend Steve Owen, played by Martin Kemp. Owen hit her over the head with an ashtray and then wrapped her body in bin bags and dumped it in Epping Forest.

EastEnders producers said they tried to be sensitive about the storyline.

"Whilst viewers were left in no doubt as to what was happening, the final blow was obscured," said a BBC spokesperson.

"Parents must share the responsibility for assessing whether a programme should be seen by a child."

But the BSC said: "Although the episodes had been heavily trailed, the explicitness of the violence and the macabre nature of the scenes involving the disposal of the body had gone beyond acceptable boundaries for pre-watershed transmission."



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