‘EastEnders’ cellar kids hoax fools press

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has vehemently denied that an “EastEnders” character has caged “Austrian-style kids in an Austrian-style cellar” since he joined the series more than 20 years ago.Viennese newspaper Heute labelled the allegedly upcoming storyline as “a disgusting bid to allure viewers” yesterday (Thurs), while British newsdesks consider the apparently leaked BBC-internal e-mails as a spoof spread by a fake news publication.According to the hoax, Phil Mitchell – a leading character in long wunning soap opera “EastEnders”  – has been keeping “Austrian-style kids in an Austrian-style cellar” since he first appeared in the series in 1990.The alleged storyline planning seem to refer to the crimes of Josef Fritzl. The 75-year-old Austrian was sentenced to life in jail in 2009 for having kept his own daughter Elisabeth as a sex slave in a self-built basement under the family home in Amstetten.Heute wrote: “Opinions may be split over the British sense of humour, but the BBC’s latest ‘PR stunt’ brings tastelessness to an all time low.”A BBC “EastEnders” press office spokeswoman said today (Fri): “I’ve never heard of this idea. There will be no such development in the plot of ‘EastEnders.’”The spoof comes on the heels of more than 8,000 complaints being sent to the BBC after a female “EastEnders” character whose newborn died secretly swapped it for a neighbour’s healthy child. Newspapers lambasted the BBC over the “cot death scandal” and attacked the company for the “cynical and insensitive” plot.