Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

Jimmy’s voice travels very well

By Nuala McKeever

Published 03/04/2012

Well said: our Jimmy could accentuate the positive about NI
Well said: our Jimmy could accentuate the positive about NI

Team Northern Ireland are really pulling out all the stops to promote this place to the world as a tourist destination.

(Don’t worry, I’m not going to mention the T-word as you’re probably nearly full-up on your Titanicometer by now.)

So I wasn’t surprised to see an advertisement on network television extolling the virtues of visiting Northern Ireland this year. It’s our time, our place!

The pictures showed Belfast and all the other usual suspects (Giant’s Causeway, Carrick-a-rede etc) in glorious technicolour.

The only bit that struck an off-note was the accent of the man doing the voice-over.

Southern Irish, if you please.

I concluded that things move on, but some things take longer to move on than others.

And so it would seem our accent is still not acceptable to a GB ear.

They love our time, our place, but not our voice.

Couldn’t they have had Jimmy Nesbitt selling our glories?

He’s popular. And he’s not so broad that you’d think he was about to shout, “Everybody off, there’s a bomb on the bus!” or anything quite so passé.

Ah dear, poor little “the province”.

Still stuck with our identity crisis.

Say it strong, say it loud: “We’re eh, not-exactly-Irish-but-not-entirely-British-either and we’re eh ... oh yes, we’re proud ish.”

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