I remember tuning in to Eastenders in my youth and I remember all the brilliant characters who were under the age of 18. There was Wickesy with his Jimmy Hill good looks, charming all the ladies before he became PC Heartbeat. Then there was Sharon Watts, a large-lovely, glamorous and bulbous. There was only a whisker of difference between her look and Pat’s, but – good Lord – what a whisker. Then there was Michelle played by the gorgeous Susan Tully. A dwarf in drag, her cheeks looked to me like fossilised apples. She had attitude, she had vim, she had Lofty. What about Ian Beale in his glory days? Happy-go-lucky, carefree, always on the lookout for a place where an honest shilling could be made. Proper East-end youngsters they were. I wanted to move down South from the fens of Lincolnshire to hang out with this crowd of street-smart youngsters, abandoning the potato-picking and the frosty fields for littered streets where kids say ‘ain’t’ instead of ‘isn’t’.
This may be pure nostalgia, but I’m certain the kids back then were a million times more interesting than the sub-Hollyoaks clan of idiots they parade these days.
Mickey, with his gravity defying haircut, continues to speak like a fourteen year old boy with a nine year old girl’s voice. When he utters words, he emits the sound of Luke Goss running his fingernails down a blackboard while stepping on polystyrene blocks in clogs. They could use him as an alarm to wake up the deaf. Add this to the fact that the scriptwriters never give him anything more complicated to handle than tripping over a boiled sweet in the video shop, and I fail to see the point of his existence either in a fictional or material world. Is he eye candy? I wouldn’t have thought so, with his strawberry blonde Manga-mullet and mid-90’s combats. Comic relief? If he makes you smile rather than wince, you’re a stronger man than I. His only function is to pad a scene out, providing one extra body in the pub. He’ll lift a glass when Peggy proposes a toast to Phil’s latest shirt or be a chuckler when Minty pukes up his pint of Churchill into Jim’s wife, Dot, but he’ll never, ever have a central storyline.
I am bewildered by the existence of Mickey off of Eastenders. Bewildered and bemused.