Channel 4 documentary explores Isle of Dogs life from perspective of children

Willow, nine, is one of the young people featured in the documentary. Picture: Channel 4

Willow, nine, is one of the young people featured in the documentary. Picture: Channel 4 - Credit: Channel 4

A new documentary explores life on the Isle of Dogs through the eyes of young people.

Brendan on the beach by the River Thames. Picture: Channel 4

Brendan on the beach by the River Thames. Picture: Channel 4 - Credit: Channel 4

The Real EastEnders, which airs on Channel 4 tonight (Tuesday, July 21) focuses on children growing up on the area’s council estates, the challenges they face and their hopes for the future.

Many of those living on the island have a family connection going back several generations, including Brendan - a sixth generation islander who has lived with his nan Lynne since he was four.

Nine-year-old Willow is also a sixth generation islander who dreams of moving to Essex when she grows up.

Meanwhile, Leslie hopes to be an electrician as well as a part-time rapper and gamer, but the 12-year-old’s mum Tina is worried about him mixing with the wrong crowd.

Leslie and his friend Jack ride bikes around the Isle of Dogs. Picture: Channel 4

Leslie and his friend Jack ride bikes around the Isle of Dogs. Picture: Channel 4 - Credit: Channel 4


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The hour-long film, directed by Ashley Francis-Roy, was filmed last summer and looks at what life is like for Brendan, Willow and Leslie, as well as their families and friends.

It is narrated by Hak Baker, who grew up on the Isle of Dogs and now lives in Hackney.

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He said: “It’s all about real life families and people that are relatable.”

Hak, who still visits the island regularly as his family lives there, said he found it interesting seeing life there from the perspective of the younger generation.

Hak Baker narrates The Real EastEnders. Picture: Channel 4

Hak Baker narrates The Real EastEnders. Picture: Channel 4 - Credit: Channel 4

The documentary marks his debut in film narration, something he said he had enjoyed getting involved in.

“I did two or three days filming with [the crew], and I did all the voiceovers,” he said.

“It gives me a sense of pride.”

The Real EastEnders airs on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight and can be watched on All4 afterwards.

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