Viewers were left ‘heartbroken’ when a 12-year-old boy revealed the disappointment he was suffering at being let down be his parents in The Real EastEnders.
The documentary presents the world as seen through the eyes of children growing up on council estates on the Isle of Dogs.
And in last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show Brendan, who lives with his nan Lynne after his mum Stacie was arrested when he was four, could be seen running to the window waiting to see if his mother and baby brother James would turn up.
In another emotional scene, the youngster admitted he will never get married when he’s older because he doesn’t want the pain of ‘losing someone’ – and many were quick to take to social media following the revelation.
‘Poor Brendan. Heartbreaking seeing him wait for his mum. Thank god he has his wonderful nannas,’ penned one, while a second commented: ‘Aww he doesn’t want a relationship because he doesn’t want to feel the pain of losing someone.’
Speaking of his happiest memory of his mum, Brendan said: ‘I’m not really sure to be honest. I rarely see my mum nowadays so I don’t really have any memories of her.’
But for Brendan, things started to look up when his mum was told by social services that his brother James could stay in her care – and that wasn’t the only thing they were celebrating.
The day also marked James’ first birthday, so Brendan and his nan decided to host a party.
But when asked by the cameraman whether his mum would come, Brendan replied: ‘She’s supposed to, but I’m not sure. It’s my mum we’re talking about and she rarely comes so I’m not 100 % sure.’
‘She breaks promises like kicking a wall – and kicking a wall is very easy. Yes, it might hurt but yes, that helps with the situation because breaking promises hurts a lot of people’s feelings doesn’t it.
‘I want to be able to see my brother on his very first birthday which would be monumental to be honest but, once again, knowing mum…yeaaaah.’
And when questioned whether there was anything he’d like to say to his mum, Brendan added: ‘Yes, please see me more often.’
But with the presents wrapped and bunting up, birthday boy James was nowhere to be seen – and Brendan could be seen running outside every time he heard a noise in the hope he would spot them in the distance,
Finally, the pair arrived, with Brendan’s mother admitting:’ I need to start coming round to see him more often. I want both of you – not just James.’
When Brendan pointed out that changed when he was four, Stacie added: ‘That’s my own fault because I got arrested. I should be looking after you, if you know what I mean.
In a final heartbreaking scene, Brendan went on to say he doesn’t want a wife when he’s older because he ‘doesn’t want to feel the pain of losing someone.’
He added: ‘Well, to be fair, I probably already feel that pain.’