RESIDENTS of the real-life locations where Netflix’s Top Boy was filmed have told how the show has “made a joke” of their lives.
Season five of the popular show, which tells the tale of rival drug-dealing gangs on a fictional east London estate, arrived on the streaming platform this morning.
The show focuses on the drug wars between Summerhouse, headed by Dushane, and other rival gangs, who fight for control of London's drug empire.
Hackney’s De Beauvoir estate is believed to be the inspiration behind the Summerhouse estate – and many pivotal scenes for the show have been filmed there.
But several locals are less than impressed with the way their home is portrayed.
Jamie, 34, who grew up just outside the estate isn’t a fan of the show which is produced by rapper Drake.
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He told The Sun: “I don’t like the way it paints Hackney. I think it makes the area out to be this scary place when it isn’t.
“We have some of the nicest, kindest people around here – a real old fashioned community where everyone helps each other.
“But the show just makes Hackney look like the wild west. No rules, no laws.”
'PUTTING HACKNEY ON THE MAP'
However, other residents are huge fans of the show, believing it has “put Hackney on the map”.
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Mum Sasha Allen, 44, and her teen son Quayon say they love living on the Top Boy estate.
Sasha explained: “How many people can step outside their doors and be living on a film set.
“It’s amazing just sitting at home watching it and saying ‘oh I know there’, ‘oh that’s my flat’.
“Yeah it shows it as a place where there’s gangs, where there’s drugs, but you get that everywhere and anywhere.
“You’re going to have ganglands and drugs everywhere so I’m not phased. It’s putting Hackney on the map so why wouldn’t we love it?
“It’s bringing money into our area. For the people who think ‘oh it's showing our area in a bad light’ – ok, then don’t watch it.
“It just makes me proud. I love it when I say 'yeah I live in De Beauvoir' and people say: ‘What, like in Top Boy?’
“At the end of the day it's putting so much money back into our community and if you don’t like it then don’t watch it.”
'I HATE THE SHOW'
Opinions are just as mixed on Dalston’s Ridley Road Market – where many of the characters in the show hang out and deal drugs.
One worker, who asked not to be named, believes the series has “made a show” of Dalston’s real-life residents.
He said: “I hate that show. It makes everyone who lives here out to be a joke.
“It’s making a joke out of our lives for everyone’s entertainment.
“I didn’t like when they came to the market to film but they paid so everyone went with it. It’s all about the money. It made a show of us.”
But other stallholders strongly disagree, and love the money and fame Top Boy has brought to the area.
Shop worker Denis, 41, even caught a glimpse of himself on his TV while watching season three.
He said: “It was filmed right here. I love it. I watched all of it.
It’s making a joke out of our lives for everyone’s entertainment.
“One of the episodes I was watching and I spotted myself in the background. I think it was great. I loved seeing where I worked on TV.
“I come here every single day so it's very cool.”
And Fishmonger Blue, 58, who has been living in Hackney for 30 years says he believes parts of the show are true to life.
He explained: “I watched the show and thought it was really good.
“I’m a film buff and it's crazy to see the street you're on every day on the screen with such great actors. I think it’s good for the area.
“I love working here because there's always something being filmed. I’m in the background of loads of music videos.
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“It used to be a lovely market but now you’ve got lots of dealers around – lots of beggars around.
“I think the show is pretty true to life. You see lots of drug deals and people with problems but I still love the area despite it.”
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