Entertainment & Arts

EastEnders not realistic, says boss

Image caption EastEnders' controversial baby swap storyline attracted complaints

EastEnders does not offer a realistic portrayal of working-class life and is not as multicultural as the real East End of London, its boss has admitted.

"EastEnders' East End and its version of working-class life are very stylised," John Yorke said.

"It's not realistic in that respect but you look for an emotional truthfulness," he told the Radio Times.

He said the BBC One soap "may be significantly white compared with the real East End".

But he added that it was "considerably more multicultural than it was even five years ago and is easily the most multicultural show on telly now".

The BBC's controller of drama production told the magazine that soaps had to find a balance in their storylines.

"Real life changes much more quickly than representations of it on television," he said.

"Soaps reach a point where they have a really big decision to make - do they stay true to the original vision or do they throw it away and adapt to a changing world?

"My own feeling is that the truth lies somewhere in between."

The magazine also interviewed Coronation Street executive producer Kieran Roberts.

He said the long-running ITV1 soap presented "a warm and cosy version of the world" but added "it's a community that's sufficiently real and sufficiently recognisable that people are drawn to it."

On the soap's ethnic mix, he said he felt they were getting it "about right".

"I'd be very worried if viewers - especially viewers from ethnic minorities - were saying they didn't think the show represented them fully."

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