EASTENDERS is a gritty, fascinating documentary that has proven invaluable to understanding London life, Boris Johnson said last night.
The London mayor has signed-up to appear in at least one episode of the show and said he cannot wait to meet some of the city's most colourful characters.
He added: "I would like to ask Ian Beale what I can do for small businessmen who never really seem to get anywhere and I'd also like to invite Peggy Mitchell to head a mayoral task force on knees-ups.
"And of course I want to pay my condolences to the family of Pauline Beale. Unfortunately I was unable to attend her memorial service because I had to go to the funeral of an actress named Wendy Richard."
Mr Johnson wants to use his appearance on the show to kick start an international campaign to promote jellied food products and raise funds for his pearly king and queen sanctuary.
Meanwhile the mayor's advisors have tried illustrating the show's fictional nature by playing tapes of Dirty Den's resurrection, but this was dismissed as 'nothing more than cockney voodoo magic, as practised by Chas and Dave when they sing 'rabbit' with supernatural speed'.
Emma Gerving, an assistant producer, said: "We have prepared a story line which would see Mr Johnson asking lots of patronising questions before being dragged into the bogs at the Queen Vic and given a right good kicking.
"But if he's absolutely sure it's a documentary then we could make it very convincing."