Patsy Palmer quits Eastenders over baby swap storyline

by Lisa McGarry

Patsy Palmer has admitted that she quit ‘EastEnders’ because of the soap’s recent harrowing cot death storyline.

The 38-year-old actress – who is mum to Charley, 18, Fenton, 10, Emilia, nine, and one-month-old baby Bertie – revealed the tragic plot upset Emilia so much that she begged her to leave the soap and her role as Bianca Butcher.

With the BBC being swarmed with complaints over the harrowing scenes, which saw new mum Ronnie Branning (Samantha Womack) swap her dead baby with Kat Moon’s (Jessie Wallace) infant on New Year’s Eve (31.12.10), Patsy decided it was time to leave the soap.

She explained: “We all cried when we watched it. But it really affected Emilia, because she adores her new baby brother and simply couldn’t believe something like that could happen. She was sobbing her heart out and kept saying, ‘Please don’t go back there mummy’.

“I had to calm her down and explain that it wasn’t for real and that it was all pretend. But being only nine it was difficult for her to understand. It affected me too, especially after having Bertie, so I can imagine how other mums have felt.”

Patsy also supports her ‘EastEnders’ co-star and close friend Samantha Womack’s decision to leave the soap over the controversial storyline, as she believes playing out the devastating scenes affected her emotionally.

She added to Hello! magazine: “In Sam’s defence, she’s a lovely mum, a brilliant actress and she adores children. I am sure playing that part affected her.

“She’s had some harrowing scenes to play recently and that must get on top of you.”