Richard Madeley finally uses his 'real voice' on GMB after changing accent
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After watching him on our screens for decades, most of us probably think we know what Richard Madeley sounds like. Well, I'm here to tell you that's all a lie.
At least, it is in some ways.
Obviously, the voice coming out of Madeley's mouth whenever he appears on TV does belong to him - it's real in that sense. But it's the way he pronounces words where Madeley has been duping us all.
In a segment on Good Morning Britain today (17 July), the 67-year-old presenter spoke with his co-host Susanna Reid on the topic of regional accents.
The discussion came after Helen Pike, master of Magdalen College School in Oxford, shared concerns about children being judged unfairly on their accents - something that Madeley insisted was true a few decades ago.
"It's certainly true that maybe 25, 30 years ago, regional accents could hold people back, and a lot of people spoke in received pronunciation," he said.
Reid responded to suggest that this kind of judgement was why Madeley had changed his accent, but he claimed that wasn't the case.
Instead, he said it was all down to his strict father.
Madeley grew up in East London, but has few noticeable traits of a strong regional accent now.
For reference, his hometown of Romford, and the town of Brentwood where he went to school, are both filming locations for TOWIE.
Madeley explained: "I upgraded mine because my dad was a public school educator, and at home in Romford if I spoke like I spoke in the playground... dad would give me a clip round the ear, and say 'don't drop your Hs'. So it was parental pressure."
The presenter also revealed his 'real' accent as he said: "I can still talk like that."
Former Apprentice contestant Joanna Jarjue also joined in the conversation, arguing potential judgement lay more in the pronunciation of certain words than accent as a whole.
"I think with accents really, it's the slang that people conflate with it... I think the accent is more about how you enunciate things certain things," she said.
Jurjue then went on to reference Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, arguing: "For God's sake, we've got the Speaker of the House of Commons, who has a Lancashire accent, so clearly it doesn't hold you back whatsoever."
Reid also noted that 'the two most successful television presenters in the country', aka Ant and Dec, speak with 'very strong Geordie accents', adding: "It doesn't hold them back, does it?"