RACE ROW: BBC have been blasted for their lack of diversity in major storylines [BBC]
A top Birmingham criminologist blasted the BBC for choosing "blonde, white" Lucy Beale as the victim.
Dr Elizabeth Yardley said people are by nature more sympathetic towards the deaths of young, white females.
She said a phenomenon dubbed "ideal victimhood" by detectives meant TV viewers cared more about murdered characters who fit that mould.
And she accused the Beeb of picking Lucy to boost viewing figures.
Dr Yardley, who is Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University, said: "I think it would have been more representative of the actual reality of homicide if the victim would have been a man from a minority background.
CRITICISM: Dr Yardley blasted the BBC's decision
to have a blonde as the victim on Eastenders, claiming
that people would naturally be more sympathetic due
to her race [IG]
"That would have enabled a greater degree of awareness around what murder actually looks like. But they are interested in viewing figures.
"So I think they've gone for the ideal victim feel for this storyline to get people watching. I do think its a cop-out for viewing figures.
"Would we be seeing a similar level of interest if the EastEnders storyline was 'Who killed Masood Ahmed or Patrick Trueman?'"
Dr Yardley said that after looking at the storyline, she believes the killer is either Max Branning, who had a secret affair with Lucy, or Lee Carter, her ex-boyfriend.
She explained: "Most women are murdered by a partner or an ex partner.
"The second most likely scenario is that it is a member of the same family or relative.
"And official data shows that 90% of murder suspects are male."
Based on her logic, Dr Yardley ruled out all the female suspects and those unrelated to Lucy by love or blood.
Viewers finally learned that Lucy was killed by her half-brother, 11-year-old Bobby, so Dr Yardley got it wrong on this occasion.
An EastEnders spokesperson said: "EastEnders is a fictional programme.
"The 'Who Killed Lucy?' storyline was devised in order to put Ian, the one character who has remained a constant figure since the very first episode, and his family at the heart of the drama on our special 30th anniversary."