Sunday, July 29, 2007

Walford in mourning

The death of Mike Reid - former stuntman, comedian and star of BBC TV's Eastenders - deprives British popular culture of one of its last genuine cockney accents. And when I say genuine, I do expect you to be rhyming it with bottle of wine.

Having lived in London all my life, I'm very conscious of changing accents. Face now rhymes with Miss rather than Vice, which is all rather confusing. To hear people talking like the late Mike Reid, you need to head out to the Essex caravan parks around Clacton or maybe play a round of golf on the Costas. You just ain't gonna 'ear it darn the Ole Kent Road, my son.

I can't help having this image of Walford recreated beyond the Pearly Gates. St Peter is, at this very moment, slapping Frank Butcher on the back and challenging him to a game of arrers down the rub-a-dub. "You're a bleeding saint, you are. Go on, mate. Watchu 'avin? Pint of bitter?"

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