Made in Mitcham: The truth about the video which made Ken cry
The controversial video that made Ken Livingstone cry despite featuring actors did also contain real people and was almost entirely filmed in Mitcham and Morden.
The former Mayor of London, who is seeking a third term at City Hall, last week launched his campaign video, which featured Labour Party supporters depicted as everyday people at home and at work.
The story turned to controversy when Mr Livingstone, 68, broke down in tears after being apparently moved by the supporters cries of “You can do it, Ken” – despite many of them being employed by an advertising agency.
At the beginning of the broadcast, Mr Livingstone sits behind a desk and says: "We’ve all seen party political broadcasts before but this one’s a bit different. It’s a political broadcast on behalf of ordinary Londoners.’
In the video, Mr Livingstone also speaks to the camera in what appears to be a park, but is in fact in Tooting and Mitcham United’s football club’s stadium at Imperial Fields in Bishopsford Road, Morden.
Filming took place on Tuesday, April 3, and coincided with a campaign stop in Mitcham by Mr Livingstone, who hopes to oust Conservative incumbent Boris Johnson in the Mayoral elections on May 3.
Imperial Fields was used in the video several times, such as a man sitting in the stadium itself, a builder having a cup of tea during the building of the club’s new all-weather pitch and a man speaking from the player’s tunnel, and a boxing trainer speaking from a newly built boxing club.
Actor playing a mechanic in McMullen motors in London Road, Mitcham
Imperial Fields, which also houses a community resource centre called the Hub, is used often by Mitcham and Morden Labour Party and Siobhain McDonagh MP.
In 2006, the ground was even used as for an election rally by the Labour Party by former Prime Minister Tony Blair and then Chancellor Gordon Brown.
Some people featured in the video were from Mitcham, such as Dulce Young and Breezy Lee, who were featured outside Ms Lee’s former place of work at Courtesy Flowers in the town centre.
Breezy Lee, a former employee of Courtesy Flower in London Road, Mitcham, with Dulce Young
Lucy McAneny, another florist at the shop, said she had seen the stories about Mr Livingstone’s supporters being “fake” but said Ms Lee had worked at Courtesy as recently as this week.
Another, Barbara, is the landlady at the King’s Arms pub opposite the florist and an oriental lady also sitting in the same pub who is thought to live in nearby St Marks Road.
Barbara, the landlady of the King's Arms pub in Mitcham town centre
A St Mark's Road, Mitcham, resident also speaking in the King's Arms
Others were actors, such as a man pretending to be a mechanic at McMullen Motors in London Road, who apparently needed 40 minutes to get his lines right.
Neil McMullen, who has run the garage for 12 years, said he was approached by the agency on the Saturday before and they brought in an actor for the filming on Tuesday.
He said: “I was happy to help but I am not really interested in what politicians do – they are all the same aren’t they?
“He did fluff his lines a bit. He was reading from one of those cards that had his lines written on it.”
An older lady was also filmed in the Dons cafe, next to the King’s Arms, but staff at the cafe said they had never seen her before.