A recent survey which asked people to listen to over one hundred different accents reading from the same script has found that Essex and London accents are deemed less intelligent.

The study surveyed attitudes among young adults aged 18 to 32 towards accents across the south east of England where about 200 listeners from a variety of backgrounds were played 10-second clips of speakers reading the same script from across the region, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Surrey, various parts of London and, of course, Essex.

People from Essex and London were judged to be less intelligent than people from other areas together with people who are working class from across all of south east England, who were judged to be less intelligent, friendly and trustworthy than middle class people, while people from an ethnic minority were judged less intelligent than white people based only on their accent.

I have to wonder how the participants could tell the difference between a working class and a middle class accent when they were not familiar with the sound of that Counties accent, is it just a case of dropping H’s etc, can you just tell from just listening?

This seems a very strange survey to me and I’m wondering what constituted an Essex accent or a London accent, for whilst there is a clearly defined Essex Cockney style accent, it is completely different from an Essex rural accent and there is no such thing as a London accent as London is so multicultural and the traditional London accent of the real Cockney’s has all but disappeared.

It seems to me that the most prevalent accent in London now is what is called the Multicultural London accent, where the voice is projected from the front of the mouth and emphasises any word ending in “ility” and is a dreadful sound.

I used to have a wonderful public school accent which I toned down when I moved to Essex and everyone said, “you ain’t harf posh,” leaving me now with a strange middle class accent with an Essex twang, if only I hadn’t been swayed by peer pressure.

Assuming the London accent they are referring to is the London Multicultural accent which has become quite prevalent on television for voice overs and advertisements perhaps we will be hearing less of this accent in the future if the advertisers think it sounds less intelligent and I for one will be delighted about that.



About The Diary of a Country Bumpkin

I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent. Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work. I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise. I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013. My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie. I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes. I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage. My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse. I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase.
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  1. SueW says:

    Broad accents from any area are a source of irritation to me if they belong to television presenters.
    One of my pet hates at the moment is the way the BBC has begun to use Lancashire/Blackburn area comedians to host quiz/game shows, not to mention Top Gear.
    I agree with the survey, for some reason we judge them as less intelligent.

  2. SueW says:

    PS. And Danny Dyer with his cockney accent – it fits well on Eastenders, but listening to him presenting a game/quiz show is off putting.

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