Lorraine Kelly reveals TV boss once told her she'd 'never make it in TV' because of accent

Virgin Radio

9 May 2024, 12:20

Lorraine Kelly smiling presenting TV

Credit: Rex

Lorraine Kelly has revealed a former TV boss told her she’d never make it on TV because of her “working-class Glasgow accent.”

Speaking ahead of accepting her BAFTA Special Award for her contribution to television at this Sunday (12th May)’s BAFTA TV Awards, Kelly opened up about her journey into the industry.

“I was given opportunities that, sadly, have become almost non-existent,” the daytime TV show host reflected. “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," the beloved presenter added.

Thankfully, Kelly was made of stern stuff and found the comment empowered her to prove the executive wrong if nothing else. “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 TV-am, who asked me to come down for an interview and then hired me as Scottish correspondent,” she explained.

The Lorraine host then sadly said while considering the future of broadcasting: “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.”

Sharing what it means to be accepting the BAFTA Special Recognition award this year, Kelly said: “It really is an extra special award as it is coming from BAFTA and I feel very honoured. It will be such an incredible evening and I am really looking forward to it.”

The 2024 BAFTA TV Awards with P&O Cruises will take place on Sunday 12 May, and air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer from 7pm.