Eastenders, the BBC's prime time soap, is running with two main stories.
The first is the business with Dawn, Rob and May and the baby Dawn has had, May wanting to take it from her and Rob being an all round wimp. The story line has gone silly in recently, but this is due to the script having to be altered drastically so as to avoid similarities with the Madeleine McCann incident, as script writers had intended for Dawn's baby to be snatched by May.
The second story though is about Stella marrying Phil and in particular Stella's rather psychotic bullying of Phil's son Ben. This is, for me the more unpleasant story and the one that is, I believe, alienating their key demographic.
When I ask my class at school (year sevens, aged 12) what soap they watch, if they watch any it is Eastenders. It is clear that Eastenders has been very successful in securing the next generation of viewers as Eastenders fans from about the age of ten or eleven. However, when asked about the storyline involving Ben being bullied, most children I speak to about it dislike the story and in some cases have stopped watching Eastenders because of this storyline. I too find it disturbing, but if children too are put off by it, aren't Eastenders writers shooting themselves in tho foot by running a storyline that is putting off their future viewers ?
It seems Eastenders has lost its way recently and it needs to start appealing more to its key demographic groups. The sooner they end the story about Stella bullying Ben, the better.