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BBC Radio 3's Elizabeth Alker addresses Rochdale accent distracting listeners

BBC‘s Elizabeth Alker has been on the airwaves since 2005, interviewing the likes of Paul McCartney to Steve Reich, and by now she’d think listeners would have become used to her northern accent. But she admits her Rochdale roots still receive a sense of surprise from her audience.

The radio DJ joined the BBC as a researcher but soon became a reporter and presenter for Radio 6 Music, something she is extremely passionate about.

Her parents were both pianists and Elizabeth grew up learning the clarinet, recorder and piano, so her musical talents tied in with her English degree paved the way for her calling to music journalism.

But after graduating in 2003 and the job hunt began, she admitted there was a fear of being judged on her Rochdale accent by potential employers.

Gushing over the benefits of being able to use email instead of face to face meetings straight away, she said in a new interview: “It was so liberating, in some ways, not to be judged on my Rochdale accent (amazingly, even stronger back then), or my general lack of self-belief, experience and connections.”

READ MORE: Kirstie Allsopp worries what message football crowds are sending

She now presents Unclassified on Thursdays and Breakfast on Saturdays on Radio 3, but listeners are still surprised by her voice.

“It’s still fairly rare to hear a Rochdale accent on the radio, particularly presenting classical music,” she explained.

“Although there are an increasing number of northerners on Radio 3 now, and judging by my Twitter timeline, lots of listeners are still surprised by it.”

She likened the reaction to that of female composers she has interviewed in the past, who were “beavering away making strange sounds in lonely studios”.

“A Greater Manchester accent unleashed, coloured with all its colloquialisms and particular inflections, might make you think of mills or football or post-punk, but it’s rarely associated with classical music.”

Despite her worries surrounding her voice, she smiled as she revealed it’s a “huge privilege” to be able to bring the “unexpected and the non-standard” into people’s lives.

“I love to persuade listeners of the joy in a spectral sounding theremin or a glitchy electronic beat,” she said.

She then jokingly added: “And when I am director-general I will change all standard BBC pronunciations so that words are spoken with flat vowels and dropped h’s and t’s because, well, what is standard, anyway?”

Elizabeth’s full interview is available to read now in Radio Times.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

GB News viewers love Michelle Dewberry's Hull accent

Michelle Dewberry debuted her new show on GB News tonight.

The former Apprentice winner was competing with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and UEFA Euro 2020 for viewers’ attention.

She hosted her prime time two-hour slot, Dewbs & Co, at 6pm on the new Freeview channel, just as Mr Johnson held a press conference in which he announced there would be a delay on fully lifting restrictions.

Read more: Police launch murder investigation after east Hull stabbing

Tweeting about the show, one said: “I thought the accent would grate after about 30 minutes but no, she’s doing fine and importantly bright and intelligent. Great start.”

“@MichelleDewbs has such a fantastic accent!” another said.

While a third Tweeted: “A thoroughly enjoyable programme Michelle, you did an excellent job! #GBNews is now a permanent fixture on my TV screen.”

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But some were not quite as complimentary about some aspects of the show.

“Love the show,” one said. “Nice to see new faces and love your accent. Needs to be a bit brighter instead of the dark background and can some please sort out the reflection of the auto-cue behind you as it is distracting. Other than that great channel.”

Another said: “24hrs on still many technical issues remain. @MichelleDewbs looked relieved to make it through her show. Now on @afneil’s show there are sync issues with Boris Johnson’s statement.”

A third Tweeted: “You’re coming across great and like real person!!! which is completely refreshing. Sound is a real issue though, but sure it’s just a teething issue. Good luck to all a GBN.”

Others picked up on “issues” too.

“Loved the show,” one said. “Interesting and well presented. I’m sure the glitches will be ironed out.”

Another said: “Watched you and you were smashing, yes a few technical problems but you did a marvellous job. It must have been difficult your first show. Well done love.”

“@MichelleDewbs you did perfect…don’t b***** worry about the tech issues they’ll get fixed,” another Tweet said. “Your confidence will grow as you do more… just don’t think too much about it. Well done!”

Last night’s GB News launch show hosted by Andrew Neil came in for criticism from some, for “grainy pictures” and “out of sync” dialogue, but others were urging the dubious to give Dewbs a chance, after she discussed with Andrew the stories and voices she was keen to air on her programme.

Michelle herself tweeted that she was feeling “a healthy mix of nerves and excitement” ahead of her show launch tonight and that kind messages of support she had received were all “massively appreciated”.

After the channel launch last night, she tweeted: “Never, ever been as nervous on TV as I was just then.

“Everything I do, I do in honour of my sister and I know she will be looking down, watching us and super proud. History in the making. Thanks to everyone for your support. Much appreciated. Onwards and upwards #gbnews.”

Author: [email protected] (Sophie Kitching)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV