Apr 30 2014

Gareth Says: TV Doesn’t Reflect Reality

gareth_thomas_headshotIn Parliament this month (10/04/14) Gareth Thomas MP called for a fairer representation of Tamil, East Asian and other ethnic minorities in the media.

He highlighted in what he called “the lack of ethnic minorities in the UK’s top soaps Eastenders and Coronation Street.”

Speaking in the House of Commons, Gareth Thomas said: “I rarely see Tamil actors and actresses on our TV screens, which is disappointing given the size of the Tamil community. British East Asians are the third largest minority ethnic group in Britain today, but that is simply not reflected on our screens and stages. In nearly 30 years, Eastenders has had only one regular East Asian character, a young female DVD seller who lasted just six months. Given that the east end of London remains one of our most ethnically diverse areas, it is a little odd that Albert square has not had so much as even the proverbial cliché of a Chinese takeaway.”

Warming to his theme, he continued: “Coronation Street also has a disappointing record. It waited until 2011 before it had an East Asian character, who lasted just four months. Hospital dramas such as “Casualty”, “Doctors” and “Holby City” are similarly disappointing. Given the number of East Asians working in our hospitals, including in senior roles, that is somewhat at odds with the reality of the very diverse work force in the NHS.”


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  1. PraxisReform

    Gareth reveals his ignorance here, because believe it or not, soap operas aren’t a reflection of real life…

    If they were, then you’d see half the shops in Albert Square closed down, with many of the rest of them advertising cheap overseas phone calls and cellphone unlocking. Whilst most of the cast would have been priced out of the housing market and forced to move elsewhere because of the phenomenal increase in the cost of housing in the East end.

    So, pay attention Gareth, soap operas are actually modern day morality plays, where the villains always get their comeuppance, politicians actually do their jobs and artistic licence is needed to develop an interesting storyline.

  2. Prakesh Patel.

    Mass unemployment, food banks, homelessness, crime, people losing their houses. And all out MP cares about is Eastenders. Bloody unbelievable.

  3. Timeforchange

    You are quite right Prakesh quite unbelievable!


    fill the tv with asians Gareth do you ever visit HARROW
    Visit N PARK A/E FULL 70% ASIANS
    Vist any HARROW SCHOOL 80% ASIAN
    Visit ST ANNES 70% ASIAN

  5. Harrow Dude

    Methinks Gareth is trying to secure the Asian vote.
    Must try harder GT

  6. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @harrow dude – of course he is! He & his Labour chums just had the shock of their lives when ILG posted 47 candidates!

  7. ricky123

    Your not wrong there Will, 47 candidates thats unbelievable, they may have an even bigger shock on May 22nd.

  8. garth

    gareth i dont see aliens or martians either on east enders maybe some more animals too should be represented a couple of pine martens and a gibbon prehaps oh hold on what about rare foiliage in the vic too ere step down youre not on this planet .

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