In new BBC drama Come Home, Christopher Eccleston portrays motor mechanic Greg from Northern Ireland. And although there were plenty of talking points in the show, none seemed to divide social media users more than whether the former Doctor Who star had managed to nail the Belfast accent.
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Eccleston, who hails from the north-west of England, worked with a dialogue coach in preparation for the drama and took tips from Irish co-stars Kerri Quinn, Lola Petticrew and Anthony Boyle.
He also got the thumbs-up from Paula Malcomson (estranged wife Marie), who told RadioTimes.com: “I think he’s fantastic in it. A very convincing Belfast man, if you ask me.”
But some viewers remained unconvinced.
#ComeHome That accent is terrible. There are plenty of fabulous NI actors.
— Lisa McGlinchey (@lisa488) March 27, 2018
I really want Christopher Ecclestone’s Belfast accent to be passable, but it’s not. #ComeHome
— B (@BForce77) March 27, 2018
Christopher Eccleston is trying… But that accent is painful #ComeHome
— Andrea (@Andrea_G22) March 27, 2018
Of course, some people thought the accent was excellent and couldn’t see the fuss…
— Jojo (@jollybeanie) March 27, 2018
For everyone complaining about his accent, obviously we all know he is not Irish, he is an actor. That is what they do. It is their job to act out parts and pretend to be other people. ????Anyone seem Wicked? That girl isn’t really green! ????????. #ComeHome
— Shirley (@SaxSurely) March 27, 2018
Christopher Ecclestone is rockin' that Northern Irish accent.???? #ComeHome
— Vanessa (@VanellyBelly) March 27, 2018
But even if his accent wasn’t what they expected, other viewers were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt:
Really enjoyed Come Home on BBC1. Great performances by everyone, especially Christopher Eccleston, even though his Northern Irish accent was a little wobbly at times. #ComeHome
— Michael Christie (@mwchristie) March 27, 2018
Well the dodgy sounding accent certainly isn't putting me off from liking #ComeHome. Christopher Eccleston is very good in this.
— Susan Seddon (@SuzeTwelve) March 27, 2018
Christopher Ecclestons accent could be worse. Hope #ComeHome turns out to be good.
— ✨ Leanne O’Connor ✨ (@l_oc81) March 27, 2018
This article was originally published in March 2018