Eastenders actor Scott Maslen has stepped into defend the controversial baby swap storyline which attracted more than 6,000 viewer complaints after it began to air on New Year's Eve. The story saw Scott's character Jack Branning's wife Ronnie (Samantha Womack) swap their dead baby James for Kat Moon's (Jessie Wallace's) baby Tommy.
However, despite it's controversy, Scott enjoyed every moment of it. Speaking to The Sun Buzz magazine ahead of the British Soap Awards in which he has been nominated for Sexiest Male, Scott said: ''Of course I was shocked when I read the script...and so was my wife. We have a kid [ten-year-old Zak]. But there are people who have done this horrible thing of swapping a baby.''
''Eastenders had done its research. I know the argument was that the cot-death was enough on its own. But this show always likes to take a stance in telling a story that other people wouldn’t necessarily take the risk on. And when you look at the viewing figures when the baby swap was revealed [10.1million, where seven or eight million is the norm], the gap between us and our rival soaps was immense.''
Speaking about his on-screen wife, Scott insisted that they are nothing more than friends in real life. In the exclusive interview with the magazine which comes with Saturday editions of The Sun, Maslen said: ''Phwoar, Sam Womack. I’m like: ‘Really?’ It would be like me looking at my sister like that. When we do sex scenes, we just take the mick out of each other. I tell her that her breath smells. Sam and I are so similar. We’re like a boy and girl version of each other – but of course I’m a lot more intelligent and sexier than she is!''
Scott also revealed that he had a brush with mega-stardom in the 90's after meeting Wham member George Michael who Scott's on-screen neighbour Heather Trott is obsessed with saying: ''I met George out one night at Steve Strange’s nightclub in London in 1990...He came up to me and said: ‘Look, I’m doing this video. Do you want to be in it? I told my agent that George Michael was going to be calling them up for me to do this video with Naomi and Claudia but he never phoned, so I flew to Milan for an Armani shoot instead.''
Talking about his shout at the annual Soap Awards which are due to happen this week, Maslen revealed that he would rather not win saying: ''My money’s on me hopefully not winning the award this year,'' with a wry smile. “It is a little bit embarrassing and has become a bit of a running joke. I appreciate that it’s a public vote, so thank you very much for your consideration – but I think it’s time to pass it on.''