Milton Keynes depiction in EastEnders was 'out of order', says MP

An MP has blasted EastEnders for its portrayal of Milton Keynes in new episodes.

On Monday, the character of Bianca Jackson, played by Patsy Palmer, returned to the BBC soap in scenes set in her home in Milton Keynes.

Jackson left the soap in 2014 when her character moved out of Walford to Milton Keynes with her partner Terry Spraggan.

During this week’s storyline set in the city, a neglected teenage girl living in the area is seen roaming around a housing estate, eating out of bins, and being used as a drug runner by her mother.

A pregnant Whitney (played by Shona McGarty) tries to help the child but is constantly pushed away. An argument then breaks out between Bianca and the teenager’s mother, and Bianca throws a brick through the window of the mother’s home on the estate.

Some residents of the area, along with Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, have said they are unhappy with the portrayal of their home in the soap.

The Conservative MP said he would be contacting producers of the programme to suggest writing another storyline about “some of the brilliant parts of Milton Keynes”.

He told the BBC: “I am quite positive about Milton Keynes and I want them to show the good side as well.”

Whitney in ‘Milton Keynes’ (BBC)
Whitney in ‘Milton Keynes’ (BBC)

Everitt added: “Like every city we got parts that aren’t as good as the others, but the characterisation is completely out of order.”

In an X/Twitter post, he wrote: “‘You want some, do ya? Eh?’ I’ll always stand up for MK.”

Some Milton Keynes residents remarked on social media that they would be complaining to the BBC for its depiction of the city.

One viewer who had never visited the city, said on social media: “This week’s EastEnders episodes are not really encouraging me to ever want to visit Milton Keynes.”

Whitney walking through an area in ‘Milton Keynes’ (BBC)
Whitney walking through an area in ‘Milton Keynes’ (BBC)

An EastEnders fan who said they previously worked in the city said they were “disappointed” with the soap’s “quite shocking portrayal” of the area.

“Having previously worked there, it is not at all representative of what the place and its proud and friendly people are really like,” they wrote. “MK is a brilliant city.”

It has been reported that the scenes were not filmed in Milton Keynes but in Barnet in north London.The Independent has approached the BBC for comment.

Author AJ West wrote on X/Twitter: “I was howling at the way Milton Keynes is suddenly some sort of feral Dickensian slum in concrete! The absolute SHADE! ….MK is – in general – lush.”

The uproar comes as the BBC recently announced that Laila Morse will return permanently to her reprise her role as Big Mo Harris later this year.

The 78-year-old actor is known for portraying the fiery matriarch of the Slater family in the BBC One soap from 2000 until she departed Albert Square in 2021.