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The Real Eastenders

Duration: 1 x 47'

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This warm and moving film looks at traditional life in London's East End through the eyes of the children growing up on its council estates. 

In the heart of London’s East End, the docks of the Isle of Dogs were once the beating heart of The Empire. Now the docks are long-gone, but the old ways of life carry on for these Real Eastenders, many of whom trace their Island roots back six generations. 

At a time when council estates have become synonymous with inner city crime and gangs, this is a warm and moving portrayal of the innocence, hopes and dreams of childhood. While the world changes rapidly around them, there is a timeless sense of community and continuity here amongst these Real Eastenders. 

Brendan is a 6th generation Islander who’s lived with his nan, Lynne, since his mum left him in care when he was just 4. Brendan and Lynne haven't seen Brendan's mum in months, and they're worried that his baby brother James could end up in care, just like he did. 

Twelve year old Leslie want to be an electrician, like everyone else in his family, as well as a part time rapper and gamer. His mum, Tina, worries about him hanging out with boys who want easy money and respect, but all Leslie wants to do is be just like his dad Big Leslie who takes him off on a lad’s holiday to Majorca – along with Grandad Bigger Leslie 

Jack hasn’t been getting on too well at school (which he calls ‘prison’), and the summer holidays are a time to roam free with his friends the Spit Brothers. 

Nine year old Willow’s family also goes back six generations on the Island. She loves it here but keeps a mildly disapproving eye on the naughty boys, and dreams of moving to Essex where she will settle down to live her dream. 

For Channel 4

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