Ronnie quits 'enders over baby scenes

Samantha Womack, the actress who plays Ronnie Branning in Eastenders, has quit the BBC soap after taking part in the most harrowing 'enders scenes in recent years - excepting the moment when Peggy's hair went up in flames. Sam was at the centre of a cot death horror, where, after finding her baby had perished, she swapped her dead child for Kat Moon's. As you do...

The Daily Mail, 'The last couple of months at work have been awful for Sam. The first time she read the script, she thought it was wrong and pushed boundaries too far. It was such a sensitive issue, she knew it would cause a huge backlash. She wrote a letter on the day she read it and made it clear to bosses she thought it was wrong. They persuaded her to stay and film the scenes, but she will leave in May. She saw the story as a mother first and an actress second, which made her realise things had gone too far.'

Samantha said of filming the scenes, 'I couldn't stop crying when we were filming the scenes where Ronnie finds her dead baby. I couldn't switch off when I returned home every day. What Ronnie has been through is such a crushingly awful thing to even pretend might happen to you. I actually felt ill having to portray it. We used an expensive silicone doll, and it was so lifelike it upset a lot of people on set. We had to stop and take a break because it was too much.'

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