Lesley Sharp: the media is biased against northerners

Starlings star says northern women have it worst of all

The media is even more biased against people from the north of England than it is against Scottish, Welsh and Irish people – and northern women get the worst treatment of all. That’s according to Lesley Sharp, star of Scott & Bailey and Sky1 comedy drama Starlings.

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Sharp, who returns as the Starling family matriarch, Jan, for the show’s second series next week, told the new issue of Radio Times magazine: “Every so often, I look around and have a sabre-rattling moment about this, because it does seem that Scots, Welsh and Irish are ‘allowed’ to be part of the Establishment – they’re allowed to be members of the judiciary, politicians, prime ministers even – but somehow northerners are still portrayed either as dullards or as vaguely comical.

“Even if they’re in positions of power, like John Prescott, they’re ridiculed. And it’s particularly bad for women.”

The Liverpool-born actor praised Starlings for “totally undermin[ing] the notion that northerners are a bit tasteless and a bit thick. Jan is intelligent and subtle, and I think it’s important to point out that not every woman with a northern accent wears leopardskin and wants to get sprayed orange.”

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Read the full interview with Lesley Sharp in Radio Times magazine, in shops on Tuesday.