My sister is my mum. My Dad is my granddad and my uncle is my dad. Who am I?
The answer is, of course, Zoe Slater, in one of EastEnders’ many labyrinthine storylines. We bet you thought the BBC soap was a gritty and realistic depiction of life in the east end of London but it turns out it isn’t. Who’d have thought it?
Although it hasn’t quite reached the nadir of soap unreality demonstrated when Bobby Ewing dreamt a whole series of Dallas which included his own death and the memorable beaming up of Dynasty’s Fallon into a alien spaceship, EastEnders has certainly had its moments – long-lost relatives appearing, characters coming back from the dead, the controversial cot-death/baby-swap saga, Ian Beale being irresistible to women and the mystery of the Queen Vic’s kitchenless food service.
One of the biggest complaints about EastEnders’ lack of parallel to real life is that it doesn’t represent a true picture of the multiculturalism found in east London and is predominantly white save a few token black and Asian families – though the current Asian family, the Masoods, at least fared better than their predecessors, the Ferreiras, who were panned for being unrealistic and tokenistic. The BBC's John Yorke says;
'EastEnders may be significantly white compared with the real East End but it's considerably more multicultural than it was even five years ago and is easily the most multicultural show on telly now.'
Now that all our illusions about life in east London have been shattered, we fully expect to hear that the tans in The Only Way Is Essex are fake, though presumably at least they all have washing machines.