Britons with regional accents share experiences of accent bias and stereotypes

Bella, 30, from Chester is proud of her northern accent too, but she thinks more work needs to be done to champion regional accents in British TV and media.

“I think a lot of TV and films perpetuate the stereotype that if you have a northern accent you’re common, stupid, naive, and so on,” she said.

Bella herself has experienced accent bias as she recalled “some guy at a party” asking her “why do you speak like that?”.

“I said ‘like what’, and he said ‘like you’re stupid’,” she recalled. “I think he had definitely heard an accent like mine before but said it to imply northerners are thick compared to southerners.”

Midlanders are also stereotyped, Rob, 27, told Hailing from Birmingham, Rob said he constantly hears people say his accent is the worst in the country, “which is more annoying than anything”.

“In certain settings, you do feel like you have to tone down your regional accent, for example in business meetings or certain networking environments,” he said.

Although BBC series Peaky Blinders and footballer Jack Grealish “have done wonders for our accent”, Rob added: “You rarely hear Brummies on TV – there is still a tendency for neutral or southern accents to prevail”.

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