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New BBC One North

But what is North? Manchester or Hull, Newcastle or Cumbria?

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SP
Steve in Pudsey
Just round the back

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/All+Souls'+Church,+Blackman+Lane,+31+Blackman+Ln,+Woodhouse,+Leeds+LS7+1LW/Broadcasting+Tower,+Woodhouse+Ln,+Woodhouse,+Leeds+LS2+9PD/@53.8068782,-1.5499651,17z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x48795c03e6c81bc9:0xd190102bcd9996c2!2m2!1d-1.5468782!2d53.8079703!1m5!1m1!1s0x48795c02568c89b9:0xd224cea4c3876db8!2m2!1d-1.547932!2d53.8057731
DE
denton
Well, it was written by Victoria Wood, who was a northerner, so it’s hardly an attack on the north. It’s quite a well-known sketch too.


Quite! If anything, it's an attack on southerners attitudes to the north.
AK
Araminta Kane
re. Brekkie on page 6, the south-west (and I live there myself) and indeed the south outside London generally doesn't need the same level of representation because the BBC always was stronger. The Guardian recently inferred that it is only in recent times that it has done less well in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but in fact in the pre-multichannel era it would only ever be the south or south-west franchises where BBC1 would just about beat ITV, and in regions like Granada, Yorkshire, Border, STV or UTV, ITV would be 15% or more ahead quite often. This was the result of the Reithian inheritance where industrial areas were massively played down and the shires were over-represented far in excess of the percentage of the population who have lived in them since industrialisation, which long predates broadcasting.

Also, while there is language change throughout the UK, some of the greatest language change (the Right-wing media always ignore this because admitting it would destroy their whole position) is in some of the whitest areas - East Anglia and the south-west, where accents *really are* disappearing among the young because they can't really be squared with pop culture and it's an either-or between localism and pop culture in a way that it isn't in the north, and 99.9% of the young obviously choose pop culture. Accents are evolving in the north, but they are still very audibly Liverpudlian or Mancunian. That's the difference.
denton and London Lite gave kudos
CW
CraigWills
But, speaking as a northerner, I don't think 'the north' is a distinct part of the UK. There isn't really a 'northern' identity - but there are strong identities around Yorkshire, the North East. In the north west, the cities of Manchester and Liverpool seem to dominate.

I think the concept of 'the north'' as a homogeneous bloc only really exists in the minds of London-dwelling politicians and mandarins.

'This is BBC One in the north' is going to mean sod all to a viewer in Scarborough or Newcastle when it's voiced with that London types identify as a 'generic northern' accent, which, no doubt, will be a Manc accent!


Have to agree with this, as someone who is from and lives in the North East, I know some people who would considering anything more southern than Teesside (or perhaps North Yorkshire) as being ‘not proper northern’. Never mind the idea that Liverpool or Sheffield want to be considered northern too! Now to be fair that’s an extreme view of people sort of confusing ‘North East’ & ‘The North’ but I think it does highlight the fact that there isn’t a collective northern identity. I’m not sure people in Newcastle, Durham & Middlesbrough really identify more with those in Hull, Manchester or Sheffield over those in Derby, Birmingham or Norwich.

I do think people can get a little carried away, with this though, we do end up sometimes portraying a very insular image where it’s almost like we suggest people up north only talk or associate with people who are from a certain county/have a certain postcode! I think while we can accept Liverpool and Manchester have different communities, they also share many similarities too and I think suggesting there’s no affinity between the two maybe be over egging things. It’s also about creating local opportunities, producers and journalists living on Merseyside would surely welcome things moving to Salford. Salford is, if nothing else, a lot closer to home than New Broadcasting House is!
Roger Darthwell, LondonViewer and London Lite gave kudos
AK
Araminta Kane
Yes, Liverpool and Manchester have a shared history of being port cities, with access to Black American music before that was levelled out to places such as I live in in the internet era, and also a shared history of strong Irish connexions. These attributes brought about a shared wariness of the old English establishment; they are both more pro-American culturally than many other parts of England *and*, as we found out in 2016, more pro-European politically than the great majority of the North and Midlands (and several of the few other Remain areas - Harrogate, South Lakeland, Warwick & Leamington - are really more like the affluent Home Counties Remain areas).

This is a different situation from the south, where there is a clear distinction between "America-facing" (generally more working-class areas like Weymouth & Portland) and "Europe-facing" (generally more middle-class areas like Dorchester & Sherborne; I can tell you that Weymouth & Portland, even today, has a considerably stronger concentration of satellite dishes than Dorchester) although, as with Harrogate & South Lakeland, the latter areas do tend to be stronger Lib Dem areas in the south, and the former stronger Labour areas. But it is also different from north-east England which is both less politically pro-European *and* historically less aligned towards Black American music; the side of the country it is on was historically significant in the latter field, though obviously it would in theory work against the former field and it clearly doesn't. But to get this back to pres, it might well be notable and significant that Tyne Tees always used to play GSTQ whereas Granada & Yorkshire didn't - north-eastern socialism, now challenged by the post-Brexit realignment, has been less internationalist and more "patriotic" I think, with the lack of the north-west's massive Irish influence hugely important.
CO
Coronavision
But, speaking as a northerner, I don't think 'the north' is a distinct part of the UK. There isn't really a 'northern' identity - but there are strong identities around Yorkshire, the North East. In the north west, the cities of Manchester and Liverpool seem to dominate.

I think the concept of 'the north'' as a homogeneous bloc only really exists in the minds of London-dwelling politicians and mandarins.

'This is BBC One in the north' is going to mean sod all to a viewer in Scarborough or Newcastle when it's voiced with that London types identify as a 'generic northern' accent, which, no doubt, will be a Manc accent!


Have to agree with this, as someone who is from and lives in the North East, I know some people who would considering anything more southern than Teesside (or perhaps North Yorkshire) as being ‘not proper northern’. Never mind the idea that Liverpool or Sheffield want to be considered northern too! Now to be fair that’s an extreme view of people sort of confusing ‘North East’ & ‘The North’ but I think it does highlight the fact that there isn’t a collective northern identity. I’m not sure people in Newcastle, Durham & Middlesbrough really identify more with those in Hull, Manchester or Sheffield over those in Derby, Birmingham or Norwich.

I do think people can get a little carried away, with this though, we do end up sometimes portraying a very insular image where it’s almost like we suggest people up north only talk or associate with people who are from a certain county/have a certain postcode! I think while we can accept Liverpool and Manchester have different communities, they also share many similarities too and I think suggesting there’s no affinity between the two maybe be over egging things. It’s also about creating local opportunities, producers and journalists living on Merseyside would surely welcome things moving to Salford. Salford is, if nothing else, a lot closer to home than New Broadcasting House is!


Well they'd be right.

Northumberland, Cumberland, Durham, Westmorland = the North.

The rest = Northern.

And once you get down to the like of Sheffield, Stoke and Lincoln that's really the North Midlands.
Last edited by Coronavision on 21 March 2021 9:17am - 2 times in total
SL
Shaun Linden
'They'd be right'? There's no official, right definition of what 'the North' is is there.
SP
Steve in Pudsey
There are plenty of definitions depending on how many zones you are slicing the country up into. If you're going north/midlands/south the line will necessarily be in a different place to a North/South split.
CO
Coronavision
'They'd be right'? There's no official, right definition of what 'the North' is is there.


It's an old definition but it is what it is.
SL
Shaun Linden
'They'd be right'? There's no official, right definition of what 'the North' is is there.


It's an old definition but it is what it is.


Yes, as in people can define the North how they want because there is no official, in law, definition.
KU
Kunst
*

The linguistic definition of the North/Yorkshire/Northeast (plus SW, SE, Midland) might help, and are pretty close to the "identities" and kinships
DT
DTV
In my field, political science, we always tend to just merge the GORs to create 4 English regions - North (NE, NW, YH), Midlands (EM, WM), South (EA, SE, SW) and London (LN). It's a clumsy definition, but it's one that nearly everybody can agree on. Most government work is done by the GORs and the 3 northern regions nearly match up with the 4 northern BBC regions, so it is a workable definition for the purposes of this thread.

But I imagine any definition of the North will face the same issues with it that we face with the GOR definition - there are parts outside the geographic north that feel more northern than some places in it - this YouGov survey suggests that about 25% of people who live in the Midlands consider themselves part of the North. In the past YouGov have done by county surveys of what is the Westcountry or what are the Home Counties, but frustratingly haven't done one for the north. But it does show that you can't just draw a line on a map that dictates where the North starts - especially considering it is often in opposition to an even more vaguely defined South.

There is also the homogeneity issue - the North isn't in fact a homogeneous block. Politically, there are multiple 'norths' that behave differently, have different social attitudes and which sometimes aren't even geographically contiguous. The same is true culturally - with multiple northern cultures existing which are often quite different from the generic Northern culture. The North East and Merseyside, in particular, are noticably culturally distinct.

But this is the fundamental problem with regionalisation - without statutory definitions of what constitutes a region, you are never quite sure how small or large your regions should be. Choose large regions and somebody will suggest that you are ignoring the distinct subregions and say you are just recentralising rather than decentralising. Choose small regions and people will call you needlessly parochial and say you should be cost-cutting by merging together some of the regions. The debate over English regional government has been going on intermittently since the 1960s and still nobody has agreed a solution. I doubt this BBC shake-up will be the last.

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