This is the story of How I grew to love my Teesside accent. Ever since being a teenager right up until my early 20s I always been ashamed of my Teesside accent. I think the reason I never liked having a Middlesbrough accent was the media representation of the accent whilst I was growing up it always been portrayed in a negative light. Often being mocked on television and never hearing any northern accents or anyone who spoke like me on any TV shows or radio shows ,having North East accents massively underrepresented in the media industry.
I remember back in 2013 Steph McGovern had received heavy criticism from viewers of BBC breakfast for sounding to common to be a presenter on BBC Breakfast. It was suggested by viewers and some BBC bosses she should try and change her accent and the way she speaks to more BBC English to avoid viewers not being to understand her. This was like some of my own experiences when traveling to different parts of the UK and around Europe interrailing back in 2016 . I would often face many procedures against my accent and how I spoke people not being able to understand my voice and many phrases I use not understanding what they meant, I would receive comments saying I didn’t sound English, or I sounded common, spoke to fast , often I felt on many occasions comments were made to me people were mocking the way I spoke. I do believe they are many occasions people are curious of the Teesside accent, its happened to me enough times for me to notice people mocking me or just being interested .
When seeing Steph McGovern be the BBC business reporter on the breakfast show back in 2013 for the first time seeing a women who sounded similar to me on the TV inspired me and also helped me to love my Teesside accent not be ashamed of the way I speak . It has led to me having the confidence to become a radio presenter and speak proudly in my Teesside accent. Hopefully if others hear me on the radio it will help them not be ashamed of their Teesside accent, not feel pressured in changing the way they speak help get more people with local northern accents into TV/Media roles.
Article by Chloe Tempestoso