BBC North announcers to have regional accents to appeal to people ‘outside ‘M25’

BBC One bosses are bringing in continuity announcers with regional accents in a bid to appeal to people outside the "M25 bubble"

The service will apply in the northwest, northeast, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire.

"We are tailor-making the feel of the channel for those areas," the Beeb’s director of nations Rhodri Talfan Davies said.

The telly boss, who is spearheading the BBC’s Across the UK plan to make the corporation less London-centric, discussed the initiative at an industry event.

However, he was asked if the move was not "a little bit condescending and superficial".

But Rhodri replied: "It would be superficial if we weren’t also radically shifting our focus across ­network television – if I was to say, 'let’s give BBC One a northern voice,' but we didn’t have a pipeline of creative projects rooted in England'."

The BBC plans to emphasise stories from outside London while sending presenters such as Huw Edwards and Sophie Raworth on the road and entire departments out of the capital.

Rhodri added: "We bring ourselves to work. We bring our home life, our outlook, our perspectives.

"And if we’re all living within the M25 bubble that inevitably has an impact on the editorial choices we make.

"So I believe it will make a difference."

He cited recent hit BBC One thriller The Pact – filmed in Wales with a predominantly local cast – as an example of a successful show made outside London.

A Beeb spokesman added that the introduction of regional announcers was "just one idea" to "better serve audiences across the UK"

He added: "We’ll trial different marketing campaigns to promote relevant programmes in the north similar to what we ­already do in the nations."

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