It certainly sounds as if Boris Johnson enjoyed his time on the set of EastEnders but, at the risk of taking the whole thing too seriously, I can’t help wondering why he felt it appropriate to endorse a show which offers such a relentlessly bleak and violent view of the capital.
The impact of popular culture in normalising casual violence and a culture of disrespect can’t be overstated, and EastEnders offers the most inaccurately cynical, dismal and nasty portrayal of London life ever seen.
The show’s lazy, violence dominated storytelling is clearly at odds with Boris’s condemnation of the culture of violence which blights the lives of many Londoners.
Quite how the ‘violence and aggression first’ approach of Albert Square’s residents fits with the Mayor’s efforts to teach the capital’s youth some manners is something we’ll just have to guess at.
In the week Boris filmed his scene the character of Phil Mitchell was shown relying on a gun to settle a family dispute, yet here he is happily talking up the same show which, in the words of Ofcom, is guilty of showing scenes of “sustained violence, intimidation and menace” on pre-watershed BBC One.
Still, as they try and help him recover from the bad headlines of recent weeks, I’m sure Boris’s advisors have checked his appearance won’t coincide with anything likely to cause complaint or contradict his crime policies, and who knows, EastEnders might even find a gap in the cycle of infidelity, intimidation, ridicule, murder, violence and blackmail to examine some issues of concern to real Londoners.