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Channel 4's Top Boy mix-up

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 August 2013

The commissioned graffiti in Brick Lane

The commissioned graffiti in Brick Lane

Archant

Channel 4 publicists have been left red-faced after locating a graffiti artwork supposed to highlight the Top Boy drama's connections to Hackney in another borough.

A scene from episode 1.A scene from episode 1.

The second series of the BAFTA-nominated drama about gangs in Hackney, written by Victoria Park resident Ronan Bennett, begins next week.

He was inspired with the idea for the screenplay after witnessing a 12-year old dealing drugs near his home.

Channel 4 commissioned street artists BEST | EVER to make a five-square-metre portrait of the show’s stars, Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson, to mark its return to television screens.

But instead of siting it in the “heart of the borough where the idea for the award-winning drama was conceived” which is what they intended, the artists painted it under a railway bridge in Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets.

A scene from episode 1.A scene from episode 1.

“The urban landscape is such an integral part of Top Boy’s world that it seemed fitting, in turn, to make the stars of Top Boy part of the urban landscape in Hackney,” said Channel 4’s picture publicist, who commissioned the piece in collaboration with Channel 4’s Marketing Department.

After the Gazette pointed out the art work had not been painted in Hackney, a spokeswoman for Channel 4 said: “Brick Lane is at the heart of the East End where the pulse beat of Top Boy takes place and literally a stone’s throw from Hackney.

“We hope that the work of these London artists will give pleasure to passers-by as well as letting them know Top boy is back.”

Mr Bennett was commissioned to write a second four-part series after the first attracted nearly two million viewers when it was first screened in November 2011.

The show hit the headlines when Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe vetoed filming on council estates and schools, saying it would have a “detrimental” effect on the area’s reputation.

The second series of the four-part drama begins on Channel 4 on Tuesday at 9pm.

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