'EastEnders' confirms sex exploitation plot
Published Jan 10 2011, 00:02 GMT | By Daniel Kilkelly EastEnders
bosses have officially confirmed that the soap is working alongside Comic Relief for a new storyline which tackles the issue of sexual exploitation.
Show regular Whitney Dean - played by Shona McGarty
- will be at the centre of the plot, which begins within the next few weeks when her life starts to take a downward spiral.
With her stepmother Bianca Butcher (Patsy Palmer) away from the Square, Whitney begins to suffer and - feeling alone and vulnerable - she falls for the charms of an unscrupulous man who ends up exploiting her for his own financial gain.
team have worked closely with Comic Relief while devising the storyline. As part of the tie-in with the charity, the plot will culminate in a special ten-minute episode which is to air as part of Comic Relief's televised telethon on Friday, March 18.
Speaking of the story, a show spokesperson told DS
has been working alongside Comic Relief since last year, devising a storyline that raises awareness of sex exploitation. In the long tradition the show has of tackling social issues, this is a storyline that looks to be exploring a growing problem that faces many young women in the UK."
Gilly Green, Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief, added: "Comic Relief has been working on the issue of sexual exploitation for the last ten years, both in terms of funding projects that help those who have been subjected to this devastating experience and raising awareness of the issue.
"It is vital that we continue to alert young people to the dangers if we are to stop them being exploited and the opportunity to work with EastEnders
will make a huge audience aware of this issue. We have been working with the EastEnders
script writers and some of the young women from projects we support to ensure the story reflects the reality of young people caught up in sexual exploitation."
Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief, said: "We have worked over many years with EastEnders
in all kinds of ways. It's been a real pleasure this year to work together on a piece of serious drama, in the best traditions of public service, which will highlight an important issue and also, because it occurs on the night of Comic Relief, actually help raise crucial funds to help young women caught up in it."