Friday, 23 October 2009

Not so nice

Interviews are coming thick and fast at the mo, which is great from the point of view of debate and developing ideas. It's alarming how many things hadn't occurred to me. This week I did one of the local radio seshes which are superbly organised by a man called Peter Bestwick at Western House, round the back of Broadcasting House on the corner of Great Portland Street. It's the home of Music Radio 6, where I did an interview with the excellent, if Lancastrian, Shaun Keaveny, and got a free postcard of Jools Holland to send to my 90-year-old mother-in-law back in Leeds, who is one of his superfans. I learned a lot from Radio Kent, who did a whole lot of vox pops during the morning, prior to our chat. They had Northerners down there and Southerners up here, and one listener described how friends of hers had moved North and initially been shunned because they were Southern and therefore preconceived to be stand-offish and posh. By chance, I was chatting to a Guardian colleague later in the day at the paper's mammoth London HQ (why can't they relocate some of them up here like the BBC?), and she said: "My daughter went to Manchester University and..." I chipped in, starting to say: "Yes isn't it great? All the Southern kids love it." But she said instead: "She hated it and now she's left." The reason was that she shared accommodation with exclusively Northern girls who apparently took the same, gut, anti-South attitude, or seemed to. So all this is ammunition for my plea in True North for Northerners to lose the chip (except the edible kind), and consign the cobbles to Beamish and similar museums.

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