The Guardian’s media blog reports that Mike Neville is retiring.
Those readers favoured with the mellifluous, flowing accent and Old Norse/Anglo-Saxon-derived dialect of north east England will know who I’m talking about. For the rest of you, he’s the bloke that’s presented north east regional news shows for the past 40 years.
Does anyone still watch local news, though? Growing up in the north east, I was spoilt by relatively high quality local programming. On my university course (yes, I did a media degree), I quickly discovered that the primary purpose of local tv news in the rest of England appeared to be to say, “everything’s going to be okay”. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are blessed with higher budgets and interesting local politics but in almost every English region, local broadcast media does little more than reinforce the idea that “our region’s the best”, whilst still managing to portray it as the dreariest place in the UK.
After six years of the local media in the West Midlands, I’m hungry for local news and other programming that truly reflects the region. If you’re not white, lower-middle class, excessively interested in football and of the belief that them lot over in (insert neighbouring region) are wrong-uns, then there really is little for you in local English media.