Newham renews call over EastEnders’ credits as Billy Mitchell gets to carry Olympic Flame
Newham - where two thirds of London 2012 will take place - is renewing its call for EastEnders’ credits to be updated with the Olympic Stadium.
Our borough’s plea comes after it was announced the Olympic Flame will stop off in Walford, the home of the cult BBC soap, on its way to the Games.
The luck of hapless character Billy Mitchell, played by Newham actor Perry Fenwick, has finally changed as he will get to carry it past soap landmarks such as the market, the launderette and the Queen Vic as the Olympic Torch relay hits Albert Square on July 23, 2012, it has been announced.
Earlier this year, Newham sent a letter to Mark Thompson, the BBC’s Director-General.
A spokesperson wrote: “The council is disappointed there appear to be no plans to update the iconic EastEnders’ title sequence to include the transformation already underway in London’s East End.
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“We would ask that you intervene to ensure that as the Olympic broadcaster of the 2012 London Olympics, the BBC helps to support our regeneration efforts as we look to ensure they inspire people in Newham, across London and beyond.
“As you will be aware, a number of the key landmarks for the 2012 Games are in place. These include the Olympic Stadium, Athletes’ Village, award-winning Velodrome, Westfield shopping centre (the biggest in Europe), and the iconic Aquatics Centre.
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“The extension to the ExCeL London exhibition centre is not included, which represents a key part of the regeneration of the Royal Docks.
“I trust therefore that you will help ensure that the Olympic Stadium and other iconic symbols of East End regeneration are put firmly - and rightly - on the map.”
Today, a council spokesperson added: “We were shocked when we learned the official broadcaster of the London Olympics had “no current plans” to update EastEnders’ credits.
“The BBC say they want their soap to reflect real developments in the East End – but it seems like the credits are still stuck in the days of Dirty Den. Hopefully, this announcement will be the spur that ensures this is sorted once and for all.”
It was revealed yesterday that The Olympic Flame will stop off in Walford, the home of EastEnders, on
its way to the London 2012 Games. Billy Mitchell, actor Perry Fenwick from Manor Park, has finally changed as he
will get to carry it past soap landmarks such as the market, the launderette and the Queen Vic as the Olympic Torch relay hits Albert Square. The relay will pass through the fictional London borough of Walford ahead of the July 27 opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, London 2012 said.
The Olympic Park in Stratford, share Walford’s E20 postcode.
Actor Perry said: “When we first discussed the storyline, my initial thought was that I’ll now have to get fit. While this may be a fictional one-off for Billy Mitchell, it’s a real once in a lifetime opportunity for me and I am thrilled that Walford and Albert Square will be part of this amazing event.”
Perry’s character Mitchell and fellow EastEnders favourite Fatboy were nominated for one of the coveted spots to become a torchbearer - but Mitchell got the green light.
A total of 1,018 communities will be visited during the 70-day Torch relay.