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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
BBC defends EastEnders sex scene
Carly Wicks and Jake Moon in Eastenders
An embrace between Carly Wicks and Jake Moon caused complaints
The BBC has defended scenes of sex and violence in recent EastEnders episodes after more than 250 people complained.

Viewers questioned whether a passionate encounter between characters Carly Wicks and Jake Moon was suitable for broadcast before the watershed.

A scene of domestic violence, in which the character of Denise Fox lost a tooth, also drew complaints.

The BBC said the scenes were "within acceptable limits" and kept to the corporation's editorial guidelines.

The portrayal of domestic violence was part of a long-running storyline featuring actors Diane Parish and Lee Ross - as Denise Fox and Owen Turner respectively.


Denise Fox and Owen Turner in Eastenders
The violent scene was the culmination of a long-running storyline
In the scene, Fox stabbed Turner with a fork after he accosted her in her house.

Turner was then seen dragging Fox up the stairs by her hair. He hit her and she lost a tooth.

The BBC said it had received 128 complaints about the 4 August scene.

Eastenders' executive producer, Kate Harwood, acknowledged that some viewers would have found the scenes disturbing.

But she added: "in tackling the issue of domestic violence, it was important to reflect realistically the sort of violence suffered by the victims in these sorts of situations, rather than to put a gloss on it.

"We therefore took great care to signal the nature of the episode's content in advance."


The storyline shows the consequences of relationships which are not based on genuine emotion
Kate Harwood
Executive producer, EastEnders
The sex scene, broadcast on 1 August, showed actors Kellie Shirley and Joel Beckett ripping off each other's clothes and having sex on the floor of a nightclub.

Some 129 people contacted the BBC to complain about the explicit nature of the scene.

Ms Harwood again apologised for causing distress, but argued that "any sexual activity was implied rather than explicit".

"The intention of the scene was to indicate the passion of a couple being carried away by the moment," she continued.

"Moreover, the storyline shows the consequences of relationships which are not based on genuine emotion."

Both episodes were seen by about eight million people when they were first broadcast on BBC One last week.

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