Friday Drop: The Bojo and Barb Show

Good week for Boris Johnson

Barbara Windsor and Boris Johnson
Barbara Windsor and Boris Johnson

Cripes! Mayor of London, Boris Johnson is once again basking in a populist glow after it was revealed that he will be making a cameo appearance in eponymous cockney soap, Eastenders. Joining an illustrious list of previous celeb cameos such as Robbie Williams and David Walliams. He becomes the first politician to appear in the iconic soap's 24 year history. More used to chairing panel show Have I Got News for You, Boris will apparently appear in a scene in the Queen Vic and is confronted by everyone's favourite cockney sparrow, Barbara Windsor. Governments have regularly used soaps as a way to push policies ranging from dealing with teenage pregnancy to HIV and AIDS education but a Mayoral visit is new to Walford.

Last week started badly for the man described by Adrian Chiles as an "unmade bed". Boris scoffed at criticism of the vast sums of money he earns from assorted newspaper columns, branding the amount ‘chicken feed'. This gaffe, surely alienated the average Londoner. By ordering a pint at the Queen Vic, Boris will go some way to getting back into our good books as he plays himself in an episode scheduled for the autumn. The Times frothed at his imminent arrival on Albert Square. "Boris is box office" said an insider. Meanwhile, Boris gushed "it was of course, a tremendous honour to step inside that most venerable of London icons". Carry on Boris.

Lessons

Soaps should not be discounted as relevant platforms

Popular television programmes are a good way to directly connect with your audience

Such programmes have a broader appeal and reach than traditional print media

 

Bad week for Lord Malloch Brown

Some like to go quietly. Lord Malloch Browns don't. The Foreign Office minister, whose tenure comes to an end today, has used his last couple of weeks at work to create plenty of juicy headaches for his paymaster. Clearly not familiar with the phrase ‘de mob happy', Malloch Brown has been somewhat gaffe prone since he announced his resignation from the government. The main problem has been that his line has been grossly out of step with the Prime Minister's. More embarrassment for Number 10. Nothing new there. The worst involved UK choppers.

The Telegraph's Mary Riddell asked the minister: "Are our troops under-resourced?" The response? "We definitely don't have enough helicopters." This was followed by what can politely be described as a volte face. After - no doubt a fierce roasting from the PM - Malloch Brown was forced to offer clarification on his comments. "While there are without doubt sufficient resources in place for current operations, we should always do what we can to make more available on the frontline." Satirist Armando Iannucci twittered, "How do you get to 'When I said we definitely don't have enough helicopters what I meant was we definitely do' in under 6 brain cells?" Nuff said.

Lessons

Timing is everything. After announcing a resignation, it is usually best to keep your counsel

Don't comment on matters that are not in your remit - this was MoD territory

Emotive subjects require consensus prior to making external statements, this will avoid colleagues being contradicted in public

To sign up to receive the Friday Drop each week, go to the bulletins menu

PRWeek and Waggener Edstrom will host an event on 9 September for in-house communicators, discussing the lessons derived from the Friday Drop stories. For your free place, email  with your name, organisation, and position.

 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.