Kind of like the mermaid in Splash, when I moved to London I watched the telly to acculturate. I found myself addicted to Eastenders. After a year of rationalizing my affection for the Square, I forced myself to give it up.
It’s been a couple years since I went cold turkey but the other day I watched the omnibus on the BBC iPlayer. Real ale is featured for a brief moment when Vinnie and Shirley put on a “Best of British” party at the Queen Vic, and the whole place is decked out in British Flags (No St. George flags to be seen– so much for realism). There’s a little cask sitting on the bar and Shirley asks Vinnie disparagingly if anyone is drinking the “Speckled whatever” he’s got on.
Later in the episode there’s a dramatic fire and the British flag is used to catch Mickey as his sister Dawn pushes him, unconscious, from the burning building. Later, the good-for-nothing Keith actually saves his daughter while wrapped in the same flag. I thought maybe Shirley would use the cask of Speckled Whatever to douse the flames since it wasn’t selling in the pub, but the beer was only making a cameo.