Ever since Danny Dyer – EastEnders’ Mick – referred to David Cameron as a tw*t live on ITV, I have dreamt of unleashing him on Parliament. Preferably with rough old Shirley, his soap mum, in tow.
After reading The Mirror’s front page on Wednesday, I now feel the moment has come. Cue Shirley, regulation mini-skirt, knee-high boots, armed with a ciggie! Cue Mick, foul-mouthed, champing at the bit, armed with the dreamiest eyes this side of Paul Newman.
I doubt Tory MPs, so out of touch with the real-life struggles of the people they’re supposed to represent, have a clue what EastEnders is, never mind that it forms part of the backbone of the BBC’s output. That’s the same output some MPs claim FREE of charge.
No licence fee for politicians because, of course, a telly is essential kit. They need a TV to keep up to date with what rocks their constituents’ boats. What a shame they don’t use their jammy expenses perk, then, to do just that.
We all know that the best way to expose a politician’s man/woman-of -the-people fakery is to ask them a question about something most of us discuss.
How many times has mentioning a TV programme that the majority of the country is addicted to raised a shifty, blank look or a spoon-fed response from a clueless politician? A Member of Parliament who wouldn’t recognise Mick from EastEnders if Danny Dyer played the theme tune while leaning on the Commons bar, talking cockney and necking a pint.
Most politicians have no clue how dear soap characters are to so many viewers, particularly older people who live on their own and regard familiar TV faces as friends, almost part of the family.
Sometimes, if mobility or mental- health issues are a problem, those well-loved faces are the only faces they’ll see all day.
As part of a loneliness experiment for Saga, I lived on my own with no contact with anyone I knew for a week. I spent large parts of my day counting down the hours until the news at 6pm, and 7pm when the soap cycle kicks off: Emmerdale, then Corrie, followed by EastEnders, a drama, the news etc.
They became my society. My only friends. When my dad was living with Alzheimer’s he absolutely adored Sophie Raworth on the BBC. His face lit up when she came on. He thought she was smiling only at him.
Like many who live on their own, his quality of life would have been poorer without his telly, a fact Tory politicians who claim free TV licences, while not protecting those for the over-75s, have no clue of.
The sooner Mick and Shirley ’ave a word wiv ’um, the better.
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