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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 June, 2003, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
EastEnders' latest family: Your views
The Ferreiras
The Ferreiras threw a big party when they arrived in the Square
The first Asian family to be cast in EastEnders for 10 years has made its debut in Albert Square on BBC One.

The show's executive producer, Louise Berridge, said: "We didn't set out to look for an Asian family. We wanted a new family as there were various elements missing from the show. I thought we were short on males and needed a surge of testosterone," she said.

Producers hope the family will have a big impact on the rest of the characters in the soap.

What do you think?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Why is "Asian" such a narrow definition in Britain? Asia is a huge continent, yet here the term seems to restrict to India/Pakistan. What about Chinese? It's about time TV producers recognised the contribution of other "Asian" groups to British society too. Yes, let's have an Indian family, but yes, let's have a Chinese family too! And please, don't make them own a restaurant!!
Yan Huang, UK

I have watched EastEnders for years and Tuesday's episode was the end for me. How many families move in and have a party the same night? How many people invite a whole street to a party when they don't even know them and how many people would actually go to a new neighbour's party anyway?! What a load of rubbish!
Patricia, UK

EastEnders storylines in every aspect are so lame, it's like they are trying to accommodate the Neighbours audience. If the same is applied to this new family then they will look as stupid as the rest of them. And how come there are no Chinese or Greek people on the show?
Parms, UK

If you try and give the family any ethnic tradition that will be classed as crude stereotyping but without this there will surely be uproar that the family have been over-anglicised
Lou, UK
EastEnders bears no resemblance to the EastEnd demographic I know. Apart from perhaps, in the pub.
Simon Soaper, England

Don't restrict the storylines to "Asian" stories. I have always thought that the problem soap writers had is they didn't realise that in the Asian community there are characters like Phil, Mark, Pauline, Ian etc. Their race shouldn't restrict the storylines. Speaking from experience, Asian familes have the same problems that other familes have. There are problems with drug addicts, crooks, adulterers, conmen, unemployment etc. out there, so use them as you would any family. Then the Asian family would be truly integrated into the EastEnders familes. Don't go the East is East, Corrie St route and get all clichéd on us. Be brave. Give them a few years and get them running the Queen Vic.

I am so fed up about hearing how "finally we have a minority ethnic group" making the show more representative. I thought that everyone should be treated equally and that we are all the same. Highlighting that a new "Asian" family has arrived separates them straight away. From what I've read the producers weren't specifically looking for an Asian influence, they just liked them. All I hope is that they are all great actors so that they don't let the side down.
Nic, England

Sorry EastEnders but you just aren't going to win this one. If you try and give the family any ethnic tradition that will be classed as crude stereotyping but without this there will surely be uproar that the family have been over-anglicised. We all know that every single family in this country is different in some way so whichever way they choose to write in this family, surely it will be plausible to some extent.
Lou, UK

It is good that an Asian family is in EastEnders because the soap needs some new and fresh talent but I hope the producers don't get carried away and start portraying Asians as how they were in the 60s and 70s with all the aranged marriages, bad English accent etc because we are the 2nd and 3rd generation of Asians in the UK.

We are just as intelligent and sophisticated and as well educated as the British, if not better, so please don't look at us as 2nd class citizens. People like me along with thousands in the UK were born here and we are British, it wasn't our choice, so don't underestimate us. We are not characters from Goodness Gracious Me!! There's a lot more to Asians than arranged marriages, Bollywood, halal meat, saris and joss sticks and terrorists.
Taz Hussain, England

Why can't they cast some Chinese members into the script?
Ming Fai Fan, UK
Another Asian family, another arrange marriage steroetype. The father is either a cabbie or a shop owner and one of the guys probably is in love with someone of a different race. All change then!
Rakesh, UK

I think most Afro Caribbean folk watch EastEnders so it will be a challenge to see how they fare over the next coming months. I'm happy to see that the producers of this famous programme are giving the ethnic of colour a chance. There are no black families or programmes that last on the BBC and if they do they will after the watershed. I know I should be talking about EastEnders, but the only programmes that had any meaning was Real McCoy and Babyfather.
Edgar Bernard, England

What can I say, another Asian family or otherwise known as an Indian family? Why can't they cast some Chinese members into the script?
Ming Fai Fan, UK

Mark, yawn all you like but Eastenders needs an Asian family! It's surprising that a soap set in 21st century East London wasn't being represented at all in the last eight years, I think it's a step in the right direction and I hope this will bring more interesting and varied storylines to the soap. Just take yesterday's conversation in the Vic, how many times are you going to hear anyone talking about the cow being a holy animal to Hindus? Brilliant! Bring it on!!

I'm very pleased to see this new addition to Albert Square. There is a lot of Asian talent around; hopefully this will encourage aspiring Asian actors. Also, this is a small step in the right direction towards racial integration.
Sandy, UK

The dad thinks he's Elvis... come on, that's GOT to be entertaining!!
Jon, UK

I am glad they are finally going to have an Asian family, but I hope it does not become the usual "arranged marriages etc" plots for them though.
Kiran, UK

Well, we will see how long it takes before the whole family move back to India, after working in a corner shop and a failed mixed relationship.
Mariam, UK

I think it's good news but only if they do something different with the characters than the usual stereotypical portrayal of an Asian family. (Daughters secretly seeing a forbidden guy, at home she must do all the cooking and cleaning, the brothers can do what they want....blah!, blah!) Arranged marriages...forget it! Times are changing and yes, even in British-Asian families.

As an Asian I believe this is a breakthrough for the Asian community. All EastEnders needs is to give the family a STRONG storyline which will concrete their precence in the soap. There are a number of issues related to Asians which may not be understood by other ethnic groups, therefore EastEnders can break this barrier.
Abbid Hussain, UK

Does it matter? They are characters, same as all the others. I don't look at characters on TV and think that a certain race is missing. To me it makes no difference what race the character is. As long as they add something to the story then that's all that matters.
Helen, England

I hope EastEnders isn't going to spend the next few weeks preaching to us like it did in Tuesday night's episode. All the locals have pre-conceptions of what the Asian family will be like, until it turns out that - hey, they're just like the rest of us. Oh please!! This sends out the message that ethnic minorities are acceptable so long as they're sufficiently anglicised.
James, UK

I think it's a great idea to perk the soap up with a lively Asian family. Living in the East End as I do, you see a mix of races on the street - white are often in the minority, so it's good to represent this in the soap. But please, no more of Jim Branning's tiresome racist remarks!
Flash Wilson, UK

I think it's fab news! Since Sanjay and Gita departed our screens in 1998, I don't think EastEnders has been fully representative of a true East End community. Good on ya!!
Ben Dobbs, UK

I seem to remember EastEnders introducing a variety of "non-white" characters round about the late eighties. Most of them mysteriously returned to their country of origin within a few months because the writers ran out of ideas. More recently, the Italian Di Marcos were axed fairly sharply. Let's hope this new lot fair a bit better.
Matt, UK

Not to be shallow but it's a nice change to have some good-looking men in the soap for a change. A programme that classed Phil Mitchell as a "hunk" needed some serious help.
Lucy, UK

You've done it before - why should this family be any different? So there's more Bollywood awareness - big deal! Just stick to what you're good at and don't go all musical on us!!!
Rita, London

Great news, but let's hope they don't end up depressing like the rest of the cast!
Will Dawe, UK

The new family could breathe life into Eastenders if the script writers allow for this to happen. In my opinion the script writers do not know how to write for Asian and black characters and have failed miserably throughout the years. This family will be written out of the show within 2-3 years.
Janice Spence, UK

All I can say is finally! We have a true representation of the Eastend now, because there's an Asian family. Good on yah! All the other British soaps and channels will go into hiding because the BBC are the first to promote such a family and I'm sure you're gonna do it in style.
Sophie, UK

I am not sure if it will bring new life into EastEnders. The series, although great, seems to be going from drama to drama and the producers might be running out of ideas. Let's see what happens and if this new family can bring more and new exciting drama!!!
Sandrine Vives-Rotger, UK

What do I think of the Ferreiras? Nothing yet! We've had a couple of distance glimpses of Kareena and two seconds of Dan dressed as Elvis. Not much to go on, is it? Ask us again when they've actually done something worth commenting on...
Louise Schooneman, Netherlands

Any new family in a popular soap like EastEnders will cause some impact on the rest of the characters, but I don't believe this new family will provide the "missing" element for the show. It would take a lot more for the producers to find the "missing" element than introducing a new family.

Yawn, EastEnders jumps late onto love affair with India bandwagon. Next.
Mark, UK

Asian family enters Albert Square
03 Jun 03  |  TV and Radio
Indian actor hits back in soap row
19 May 03  |  TV and Radio
New EastEnders family announced
07 Mar 03  |  TV and Radio


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