Today’s your last chance to share your favorite piece of Cockney rhyming slang with us and be in with a chance of winning tea and scones for two and a tin of our Rosie Lee own brand tea to take home. It seems the perfect opportunity to share with you one of our most cherished items, which has a very strong Cockney heritage: a framed collection of signed postcards from every single member of the Eastenders’ cast!
For those who haven’t seen it, Eastenders is a soap opera set in the fictional East London borough of Walford. Its 27-year run on the BBC has seen more murders, cheating and philandering than the Old Testament – and it’s still going strong. Based in the heartland of Cockney London, it’s an ode to traditional working-class life in the capital that Dickens would be proud.
So how did this priceless artefact come into our possession, you ask? Well, here’s how. One evening a couple of months back, Nicky heard her phone ring at some antisocial hour which she knew meant the call must be from the UK. As New York City’s unofficial British consular, she answered entirely unperturbed. “Nicky, it’s Big Mo!” screeched the distinctive voice down the phone.
Big Mo, played by actress Leila Morse, is a 10-year veteran of Eastenders, who provides the unique blend of light entertainment, mouthy charm and petty crime that – now we come to think of it – is the genetic code of the archetypal affable cockney. Having known her and her mum for a good few years, Nicky was blown away to hear all the news from London – and at the end of the call, Leila said she’d pop a little something in the post. It now hangs pride of place in the store next to the restaurant.
An interesting piece of trivia – Leila Morse is sister to Gary Oldman! And while BBC America well and truly let us down a few years back by axing the show, it’s not hard to find with some nifty googling. In the meantime, here’s a clip of Big Mo in action – and for fans of Ricky Gervais’s Extras – yes that’s ‘Barry from Eastenders’!