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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 09:54 GMT
BBC defends soap burial storyline
Tanya and Max Branning, played by Jake Wood and Jo Joyner
The storyline centred on Max and Tanya Branning
The BBC has defended controversial scenes in EastEnders which featured a leading character being buried alive.

About 600 people complained about two pre-watershed episodes in which Max Branning was put into a coffin by his wife and her lover.

The BBC said it regretted that some people "did not enjoy" the episodes but stopped short of a full apology.

It said the burial was not "glorified" and "great care" had been taken to flag up the nature of the scenes in advance.

A BBC spokesman said the corporation had received around 600 complaints since the episodes were broadcast on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

Powerful

Friday's episode, which was broadcast at 2030 GMT, saw scorned wife Tanya (Jo Joyner) enact her revenge on errant husband Max (Jake Wood) for his affair with Stacey (Lacey Turner), by drugging him and attempting to bury him alive.

The BBC said the images were "implicit rather than explicit" and that the burial was "in no way glamorised".

It added that the audience would have expected a dramatic culmination to the affair storyline and that Max made it out alive after Tanya realised she could not go through with her plan.

In a statement on its complaints website, the BBC said: "When pushed to the edge, Tanya's behaviour becomes out of character, and indeed that it's Tanya herself who ultimately suffers because of her actions."

The BBC added: "We took great care to signal the nature of the content to the audience through pre-programme announcements, billings and programme publicity in order to prepare viewers for what to expect."



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