BBC Defends Soap's Gay Sex Scene in Funeral Parlor

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The broadcaster said the 'EastEnders' sequence, which resulted in almost 50 complaints to the TV watchdog, was "implied and not explicit."

Fans of the BBC's long-running London-based soap opera EastEnders will appreciate that it's not exactly shy when it comes to headline-grabbing storylines. But a recent scene was seemingly just too much for some viewers, with almost 50 writing to the U.K.'s TV watchdog.

A spokesperson for Ofcom said that the regulator had received 49 complaints about the program's episode first aired on July 17, which included a sequence in which two male characters seemingly enjoyed a secret liaison next to the body of a dead woman in a funeral parlor. The pair was seen wearing just their underwear and embracing before a knock on the door.

In response to the complaints, a BBC spokeswoman said that fans of the show "know and expect dramatic storylines" and that the scenes in the funeral parlor were "implied and not explicit." Ofcom has said it will look into the issue before deciding whether to investigate.

Previous EastEnders plots that have stirred the letter-writing wrath of viewers include storylines revolving around pedophilia, baby-swapping and assisted suicide.

An episode in October last year involving a rape scene saw 90 complaints to Ofcom and more than 250 to the BBC, with the watchdog eventually clearing the broadcaster of breaching rules by saying it had issued a warning prior to airing the episode.  

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