The Depiction of Politicians and Politics in British Soaps

by Stephen Coleman (University of Leeds, United Kingdom)

This paper explores ways in which politicians and political themes are depicted in
British soap operas. A three-dimensional definition of “the political” is employed, and the
distinction between the personalized communities depicted in soaps and the impersonal
world of politics is investigated. The study draws upon interviews with producers and
scriptwriters from the major British soaps; a representative survey of the British popu-
lation, 59 percent of whom described themselves as regular soap viewers and/or listen-
ers; and two focus groups. (download)