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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 May 2007, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
EastEnders kidnap plot scrapped
Kara Tointon in EastEnders
Character Dawn Swann is pregnant by another woman's husband
A storyline about a missing baby in BBC soap EastEnders is being rewritten because of similarities with the Madeleine McCann case in Portugal.

The plot was due to revolve around Kara Tointon's character Dawn Swann, who is currently pregnant in the programme.

"It was felt any storyline that included child abduction would be inappropriate and could cause distress to our viewers," a spokeswoman said.

Coronation Street also changed a story following Madeleine's disappearance.

The four-year-old from Rothley, Leicestershire, went missing in the Algarve on 3 May.

Love triangle

EastEnders said its story would undergo a "substantial rewrite" before it was broadcast over the summer.

The scenes involve Swann, her lover Rob Minter, played by Stuart Laing, and his wife Dr May Wright, played by Amanda Drew.

In the show, the trio are caught in a love triangle. Minter left his wife last December after she attempted to buy Swann's unborn baby.

Coronation Street's story about a kidnapped child is currently on air, but has been significantly scaled back.

'Disturbing similarities'

Scenes from forthcoming episodes were due to feature the child's mother, Claire Peacock, at press conferences clutching her baby's teddy and handing out photos of her son, Freddie.

A Coronation Street spokeswoman said: "There were some quite disturbing similarities to the situation in Portugal and we didn't want to add to the torment of Madeleine's parents."

A number of UK law enforcement agencies are helping the Portuguese authorities in their search for the four-year-old girl.

Portuguese police have also confirmed they are investigating claims of a possible sighting of Madeleine in Morocco.


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