Which is the soap? Ken Livingstone is not best pleased. From The Times:
Mr Livingstone, who was defeated by Mr Johnson in May 2008, said that during his last term, his advisers had approached the BBC to highlight a recycling initiative.
The Labour administration had hoped that EastEnders would be able to encourage viewers to recycle, through placement of posters in the programme’s Underground station and on bins in the background.
Mr Livingstone told The Times: “They said it wouldn’t be appropriate, that it was political. They’ve obviously changed their tune, but then they have always been quite keen on Boris. They were relentlessly hostile to me in the 18 months before the election but never gave Boris a push.”
The Labour group on the London Assembly said that the rules of impartiality that governed BBC currrent affairs should also apply to its entertainment programmes.
Murad Qureshi, a Labour member, said that the corporation had handed Mr Johnson free publicity. “The BBC need to be even-handed when they are dealing with the mayor’s office, no matter who is in there,” he said.
The BBC said that the office of mayor was “politically neutral”, and Mr Johnson’s presence was relevant because Peggy Mitchell had recently run as a candidate in a local election in the soap.