With some dignity, owner Gary Keely (one of an identical set of twins) said he didn't like the questions and terminated the interview. The reporter turned to the camera with a supremely smug smile on his face, having won a decisive victory against these capitalist lackeys and their 120 boxes of oats and flakes. As the Daily Mail trumpeted later, Keely had been "left red faced in a TV interview by not knowing anything about the financial struggles of the majority of residents who live in the area where he has set up shop."
Pop, crack and fizzle
The Channel Four reporter smirked too soon and the Daily Mail's version began to look equally ridiculous. The interview got so much press attention that the Cereal Killer Cafe has been hopping from bowl to bowl ever since. Brick Lane may be on the edge of one of London's most deprived boroughs, the euphemistically styled Tower Hamlets, but it is also hard by the City of London, not such a poor area. It succeeds on the backs of the thousands of tourists, most of whom are not poor, nor residents of Tower Hamlets, because of its renown as a street market and cool place to be seen. The success of Brick Lane brings revenue to Tower Hamlets and this, in turn, helps the poorer residents. How much better off would they be if the Cereal Killer Cafe were reopened as a cheap greasy spoon?
As for the cafe in question, when I visited yesterday in search of some corn flakes and high-fat milk, I couldn't get near the place for braying hordes of victims. I had to settle for a shot from outside. Some disaster.
It is quirky shops and cafes like the Cereal Killer that bring Brick Lane to life and make it the tourist attraction that it is. Cereal Killer 5, Channel Four 0.