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Wednesday, 5 June, 2002, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Queen's English reigns in business
Jimmy Nail as Oz in Auf Wiedersehen Pet
Jimmy Nail: His accent "has a lot to answer for"
Geordies are seen as the least likely to get ahead in business, according to new research looking at regional accents.

People with a Tyneside accent are perceived as less than successful than their better-spoken counterparts, by one-in-five businessmen.

And the Liverpool lilt is seen as the least trustworthy with Scousers considered to be less hardworking and reliable.

The survey - carried out by the Aziz Corporation - found that almost a third of UK directors think that a strong regional accent is a disadvantage in business


If Geordies are seen are the most honest, but don't get on in business, then what does that say about business?

Sid Waddell, darts commentator

Khalid Aziz, chairman of the Aziz Corporation, told BBC Radio Newcastle: "In terms of success in business the Geordie accent comes out right at the bottom.

"In terms of associating it with honesty, it comes right out at the top which is why there is a lot of call centres in that neck of the woods.

"The accent that is really bad was the Scouse accent which comes at the bottom of practically everything, particularly in terms of honesty.

"It is unfortunate and is clearly a stereotype."

Mr Aziz blamed soap operas such as Brookside and other television programmes like Auf Wiedersehen Pet, for the negative perceptions.

Mild accent

"The Geordie accent is one which is, at one stage, quite gentle, but maybe Jimmy Nail has a lot to answer for."

Referring to the Auf Wiedersehen Pet plot, Mr Aziz said: "It's always a deal that doesn't quite come off, like moving the transporter bridge. In the end it did come off but only subject to being stitched up."

Mr Aziz added that there was a difference between having a mild regional accent compared to a strong one.

He added: "As a nation, we are slightly obsessed with accents and what they tell other people about us - or what they think they tell them.

Stereotypical views

"We would advise individuals to consider softening broad accents - not get rid of them.

"As the survey shows, in some situations a regional accent can be a distinct advantage."

Geordie darts commentator Sid Waddell told BBC Radio Newcastle he had no plans to water-down his thick accent.

"There is a paradox here. If Geordies are seen are the most honest, but don't get on in business, then what does that say about business?

"I think these views are a deeply ensconced stereotype coming from the fact that anyone who speaks with a strong regional accent is thick."

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Sid Waddell speaking to the BBC's Mike Parr
"It's a deeply ensconced stereotype"

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