EastEnders is not a realistic portrayal of working-class life in today’s East End, the BBC One’s soap boss has admitted.
John Yorke said the flagship BBC1 drama, which sparked controversy with a baby swap storyline, contained an ’emotional truthfulness’.
He told the Radio Times: “EastEnders‘ East End and its version of working-class life are very stylised…
“It’s not realistic in that respect, but you look for an emotional truthfulness.”
The BBC’s controller of drama production admitted that the BBC1 soap ‘may be significantly white compared with the real East End’.
But he added: “It’s considerably more multicultural than it was even five years ago and is easily the most multicultural show on telly now.”
Meanwhile, Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts told the magazine that the ITV1 soap was ‘sufficiently real’.
He said: “I doubt there are many streets in Britain that function quite like that, but it’s not that alien an existence.”
He said: “The ethnic mix is something we’re always conscious of. Statistically, we’re probably getting it about right, but I don’t think that’s the way you should judge things. It’s about how things feel.
“I’d be very worried if viewers – especially viewers from ethnic minorities – were saying they didn’t think the show represented them fully.”