Writer champions North East accents in John Darwin’s ITV drama

THE creator of the popular ‘Man in the Canoe’ TV series, John Darwin, has defended the North East accents used after viewers called them ‘insulting’.

The couple playing John Darwin and his wife Anne have been criticized by viewers for their “geordie” accents, despite the story being set on Teesside.

Eddie Marsan and Monica Dolan, from Middlesbrough, play the duo for the ITV drama The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe, which debuted on Sunday night.

Still, Teessiders who watch the show said the couple’s accents were nothing like the couple in real life.

The four-part series was filmed around Hartlepool, Seaton Carew and Middlesbrough last year.

“Why do ITV think people in Teesside speak with a geordie accent?” said a shocked viewer. “Insulting!!!!”

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But despite the criticism, some locals defended screenwriter Chris Lang and the choice of accents.

The writer pointed out that the couple moved to Seaton Carew in 2002.

He said: “It’s great that people are so passionate about their own accent!

“John and Anne were of course not from Seaton Carew, they only moved there in 2002. They were both born near Blackhall and for the next five decades lived and worked (for n to name a few) in Newcastle, Chester Le Street and Durham.”

One Twitter user agreed, saying: “I wish people were bored with the craic accent. They weren’t from Hartlepool, they were from Blackhall and didn’t have Hartlepool accents.

And another said: “I’m from NE and accents don’t bother me at all. They act with a NE dialect. There are so many variations there, when you go north and south of the area, with all the little villages in between. I think the program is a job well done! Excellent acting in every way.

“The problem with NE accents is that they change about 10 times within a 20 mile radius,” said a local viewer. “I sound different from someone six miles down the road. They are so nuanced.

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The accent debate was mostly picked up by North East viewers familiar with the local dialect.

Twitter user Mad Mackem, from Sunderland, said: ‘If they were from Blackhall they would have had a pitmatic accent. Thoo, thow, thy and the knaws, every village, town and hamlet has a different accent here. My wife and I are from the same city but have slightly different accents from each other, she is from north of the river.

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