I have to admit that a generation has passed since I watched Eastenders regularly, but news of the arrival of cockney poster boy Danny Dyer at the Queen Vic certainly warmed my cockles. If a quick skip through BBC iPlayer is any guide, the former movie and reality TV star looks the part. But has anyone stopped to consider the significance and symbolism of his rebirth on prime time TV at Christmas time?
The writers’ intentions couldn’t be clearer. An unstable Messiah figure has now taken up residence at the packed inn. In the coming days, I imagine Pearly Kings will journey to pay homage, perhaps heading to Walford East tube from as far afield as, say, up west.
According to The Daily Star, Dyer is determined to use as much bewildering cockney rhyming slang during filming as he can. This makes absolute sense, as he will no doubt see the local manor as den of iniquity that has abandoned its true cockney roots. By installing himself as the guv’nor of the local battle cruiser, he’s in the perfect position to preach to the nearby residents about a return to a simpler way of life. Jellied eels on the bar, a good old knees-up of an evening and a picture of Eric Bristow up by the dart board.
I can’t see him ever getting crucified by the locals though. Geezer’s too savvy. He’ll have an escape plan up his sleeve. A little B&B in Thurrock perhaps.