The BBC has defended its “rich history” of showing difficult storylines in EastEnders after viewers complained about last night’s episode where Queen Vic landlady Linda Carter was raped.
Her character, played by Kellie Bright, was attacked by Dean Wicks (Matt Di Angelo) in the episode which went out on BBC1 at 8pm.
The BBC said it received 278 complaints about the episode and said it had “taken great care” to publicise the storyline in advance so viewers would be prepared.
In a statement, it said: “EastEnders has a rich history of tackling difficult issues and Linda’s story is one of these.
“We have worked closely with Rape Crisis and other experts in the field to tell this story which we hope will raise awareness of sexual assaults and the issues surrounding them.
“We have been extremely mindful of the content within the episode and the timeslot in which it was shown and at no point have there been any scenes of a graphic nature. In fact, the attack on Linda was implied and was not explicit.”
Speaking last week, Di Angelo said he did not mind getting “abuse” for playing a rapist if the shocking storyline helped real-life victims.
He said: “This show is so popular and you’re in people’s houses every night so to be associated with that crime, like I said if I have to get abuse on Twitter or a punch in the mouth, I’m fine with that as long as one person speaks out.”