The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163225 Message #3891825
Posted By: Jim Carroll
02-Dec-17 - 07:48 AM
Thread Name: Radio Ballad Format - who created it?
Subject: RE: Radio Ballad Format - who created it?
"Jim, are you sure about Wilfred Pickles getting the push because of his accent? "
Pretty sure Hoot
This is an account of the reception he got, from John Sipmson's 'News From No Man's Land'
I grew up with the story that he was removed from newsreading because of the protests - he was tolerated on Have-a-Go for his 'quaintness', as were several personalities - but 'not on the news'
When, during the Second World War, the BBC turned the broad?caster Wilfred Pickles into a newsreader, there were howls of protest right across the country. Pickles might have had a silly name and a strong North Country accent, but he was a clever and accomplished broadcaster; and nowadays, listening to recordings of his news bulletins, it is clear he deliberately muted his natural accent so much that it only escapes occasionally, usually in the vowel sounds. But people across the country were outraged. What they wanted was standard English, 'BBC English': the English, that is, of the public schools and of Oxford and Cambridge.
Accent snobbery is one of the nastier sides of life in England, and it's a problem unknown in France, Ireland, the United States, Germany, Russia and just about every other country whose television I watch. Its fading out even in England, and with luck it'll be dead and forgotten within twenty years. But it still crops up every now and then.
When John Cole took my place as the BBC's political editor in 1981, there were hundreds of complaints after each of his broadcasts about his supposedly impenetrable Ulster accent. It wasn't just the accent they didn't like, it was the fact that John came from the other side of the Irish Sea; and with that sensitivity and awareness that have made the British so loved around the world, they failed to....