Lorraine Kelly was told she’d never land a TV career because of her “working class Glasgow accent”.

Lorraine Kelly was told she’d never land a TV career because of her ‘working class Glasgow accent’

Lorraine Kelly was told she’d never land a TV career because of her ‘working class Glasgow accent’

The ITV morning host, 64, is set to be honoured with the Special Award at this Sunday’s (12.05.24) BAFTA Television Awards, and opened up about facing snobbery as she tried break into media in a chat ahead of the event.

She said: “I was given opportunities that, sadly, have become almost non-existent. I went straight to my local newspaper from school and then to the BBC (after acquiring a bottom drawer full of rejection letters.)

“In fact, I was told by the boss of BBC Scotland that I would never make it in TV because of my working class Glasgow accent.

“It was actually the best thing that could have happened: that comment spurred me to phone the boss of the relatively new breakfast TV station TVam, who asked me to come down for an interview and then hired me as Scottish correspondent.”

Lorraine added she thinks working class young people need to get more breaks when it comes to living costs when working at their first jobs in London.

She said: “The high cost of living and working now makes it almost impossible for working class kids from the rest of the country to accept a job in London.

“That has to change. There also needs to be more opportunities outside of London.

“We quite rightly have stressed the importance of diversity in recent years, but that also has to include young working-class people who understand and can relate to the vast majority of our viewers. It is in all of our interests to make sure they have the opportunity to have their voices heard.”

Previous BAFTA Television Special Award recipients include David Olusoga, Nicola Shindler, Clare Balding, Idris Elba, John Motson, Henry Normal, Nick Fraser, Lenny Henry, Delia Smith and Cilla Black.

Hilary Rosen, chair of BAFTA’s television committee, said Lorraine being handed the trophy during the upcoming event at the Royal Festival Hall, London will be a recognition of how she has spent decades making broadcasting look effortless.

She added: “Lorraine Kelly has been a sparkling presence on our screens for over 40 years and is one of the most well-known and adored stars of Television.

“On ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ she displays a mastery of disarming guests with her warmth and relaxed approach and always manages to make the daily demands of live broadcasting look easy.

“She combines quick intelligence with genuine empathy, tackling tricky subjects with skill and sensitivity and uses her platform to raise awareness of things that really matter.

“Lorraine has a deep and genuine connection with her audience and her longevity speaks to the unique importance of daytime television and its staying power.”