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Lesley Sharp: 'The media is too biased against northerners'


British actress Lesley Sharp has accused the media of being more biased against people from the north than against people from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

The Liverpool-born Scott & Bailey star said: “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 vaguely comical.”

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

Soon to reprise her role as Jan in Sky1’s comedy drama Starlings, Sharp praised the series for its positive portrayal of a northern woman.

“[It] totally undermines the notion that northerners are a bit tasteless and a bit thick. Jane 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,” she said.

The actress recently told the Independent on Sunday that the negative associations often made with the north of England is one of her “bugbears”.

She said: “Being northern is fantastic but the positive associations I have- about being from a hard-working, funny and friendly community- aren’t always portrayed that way.

“The wealth of Britain was built on the labours of the North, but I know that those associations aren’t there for everyone”