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Oop North

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Cheer up, Ian, at least you don't live in Luton...

"Up North,
Where the beer is best!
Up North,
Where you don't wear a vest!
Up North,
Where men are men!
Up North,
Ah, I'll say it again,
Up North!"
Fivepenny Piece: Up North

Northern England. To those of the metropolitan southeast in particular, it's a strange and alien place full of salt-of-the-earth lower-class types who talk foonae, notable only for football, pop music, and flat caps. To some Londoners, this is more or less anywhere north of the M25, the motorway surrounding Greater London, forgetting about The Midlands.note  Geographically, the North is usually classed as comprising the counties of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Lancashire (including Liverpool), Durham, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, Cumbria, and parts of Lincolnshire and Derbyshire. The ITV regions Oop North are Granada, Border, Tyne Tees, and Yorkshire.

It's less crowded than southern England, though not half as rich or full of TV bosses.note  The media sometimes portray it as a stereotypical place of urban deprivation, coal mines, and men in flat caps. Expect stories about working-class struggle, unemployment, crime, alcoholism, wife beating, and old men having humorous adventures. There may well be trouble at t'mill. The setting of many a Kitchen Sink Drama.

Northerners are sometimes held in the same low regard as Australians and Texans for being too loud, proud, and generally insufferable, like in At Last the 1948 Show's Four Yorkshiremen sketch. But surveys have shown that Northern accents (particularly Yorkshire) are thought to be the most "trustworthy", thanks to the no-nonsense stereotype. Just as in the South, urban regions — and especially factory or mining towns — of the North of England often vocally support the Labour Party, especially concerning trade unions (think of all those coal mines, steel mills, and so on). Express praise for Margaret Thatcher at your own risk.note  It's important to remember, however, that this only applies to urban and industrial areas: rural areas of the North in counties like Yorkshire have always been some of the safest Conservative constituencies in the country (eg Harrogate).

The trope name reflects a northern pronunciation of "up North" in the phrase is "Ee, it's grim oop North".note  While living Oop North certainly isn't fun, it should not be confused with Grim Up North.

Not to be confused with the American counterpart, Ap Nort'. (Not least because, in the US, many of the stereotypes associated with Northern England are instead spread out between Appalachia and a different part of the Midwest, known as the "Rust Belt".)


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  • The ESPN commercial "Born Into It", where two blokes from Manchester—a United fan and a City fan—describe how horrible their lives would be if they were born on the other side, even though they have more in common than they think.

    Audio Plays 

    Comic Books 
  • Several of the stories in Viz, as the comic originated in Newcastle; most notably the character of Sid The Sexist.
  • John Constantine is originally from Liverpool. Furthermore, a large number of issues are about John making attempts to come to terms with what happened in Newcastle.
  • Mokera from Helios Eclipse.
  • Dan Dare's batman Digby hails from Wigan. Dan himself is from Manchester.
  • Jack Staff is set in Castleford, Yorkshire.
  • In Witchblade, a former wielder of the Witchblade Katarina Godliffe was from a farm near York in North Yorkshire.

    Comic Strips 
  • Andy Capp — and his granddaughter Mandy Capp — are from the North-East. Andy has evolved since the 1950s as the archetypical Geordie ne'er-do-well. His son Buster Capp was for a time the lead feature in a children's comic (Buster was created for the eponymous comic; Andy and Flo did occasional cameo parts). It is implied that Buster grew up and married, as the third generation of the Capp family is attitudinal single mother Mandy, whose exploits are now a Daily Mirror comic strip. Mandy has children...
  • Hardcastle Industries, one of Alex's clients in the Alex comic strip, is based in the fictional Nothern town of Grimley. Alex had to move there for a time, leading to a lot of 'fish out of water' jokes about a London banker trying to adjust to life in the industrial north.
  • The very funny comics of Bill Tidy, most notably The Fosdyke Saga (which used to appear in the Daily Mirror) and The Cloggies (in Private Eye) were firmly based Up North. The Cloggies obviously was a team of clog-dancers, while The Fosdyke Saga told the story of the Fosdykes, a Lancashire family who by a stroke of luck inherited Salford's biggest tripeworks and took place between the turn of the century and the 1930s; usually Sir Jos Fosdyke's three sons were busy travelling around the world on various tripe-related quests and stunts.
    • A successor strip The Last Chip Shop in England documented the Resistance movement against fast food which, in a dystopic Britain, was trying to drive all the competition out of existence. the fast-food Corporation was a double Shout-Out against both Americanised fast-food chains, and a Southern government colluding with them to drive Northern tradition into extinction.

    Fan Works 
  • Roanapur Connection: Where part of the first chapter takes place. Specifically, Newcastle and where Nathan is all but stated to consider as his home. Which also forms a heavy part of his motivations we have been told thus far of getting support for. Ganabati also notes Nathan's favourite sweets coming from one particular town in Northern England called Wigan. Which he also notes Nathan never took him there on his tour of Northern England. Which he suspects has some meaning to Nathan.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Mari Makinami (who's a bit of an O.C. Stand-in) turns out to be from Liverpool.

    Films — Animation 
  • Wallace & Gromit. Its precise setting was kept mysterious for a while, but was eventually revealed to be Wigan in Lancashire — the Yorkshire-Lancashire rivalry was referenced in A Matter of Loaf and Death when Gromit makes a solid attempt at throwing an about-to-explode bomb across the Yorkshire border. Though in truth, it was shown in A Grand Day Out that the setting was Wigan, just had to keep an eye out for it.
  • Aardman's other famous work, Chicken Run, is set in Yorkshire. However, not all of the characters have Yorkshire accents (Mr. and Mrs. Tweedy do, though the chickens' accents are from all over the UK).
  • Wolfwalkers is set in Ireland, but Robyn and her father Bill are from England and they both have Northern accents (Sean Bean uses his native Sheffield accent as Bill). It fits with their portrayal as working-class citizens trying to get by under the Lord Protector's strict rule, and their Northern accents also set them apart from the Lord Protector's Received Pronunciation.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Threads, the ultimate horror show of nuclear war takes place entirely in Sheffield and the surrounding towns. All the actors are pretty much native to the area, and the programme needs captions just so the rest of the country can make out what the hell everyone is saying. A joke at the time (probably started by a Southerner) held that the film had been set in Sheffield so they didn't have to spend any money building sets to depict it after the nuclear attack.
  • The Full Monty, in which a bunch of sacked steelworkers have to turn to stripping to survive. By the way, that's a comedy (albeit a frequently dark one) and a pretty good one as well.
  • Whistle Down the Wind depicts both the rural and urban North.
    • Both are rather depressing.
  • Billy Elliot, a story about a young Northern boy who takes up ballet and tries to hide it from his gruff father. It turns out that, although other men in the town have a problem with men doing ballet, his father is just glad his son has found a way to avoid spending his life working in a coal mine like he did.
  • The film Get Carter is set Oop North in Newcastle, which is portrayed as a grim, crime-ridden city.
    • Also, the famous car park scene is set in Gateshead, just across the Tyne from Newcastle.
  • The moors where the werewolf appears in An American Werewolf in London.
  • Billy Liar, filmed in and around Bradford and Leeds, just as they were in the process of pulling down all the depressing Victorian slums and replacing them with... er... depressing modern tower blocks.
  • Brassed Off concerns the (fictional) Grimley Colliery Band, from a (fictional) area of The North. The plot deals with a brass band (very Northern) made up of miners (also quite Northern) being made redundant (again, Northern) by the managers (definitely Southern, from the one example seen on screen).
  • 24-Hour Party People, the semi-fictional account of Manchester's Factory Records and that city's regeneration.
    • Also Control, the Ian Curtis biopic, which was naturally filmed in a lot of the same places.
  • Kes, written by a man from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, is set there. True to form, everyone speaks Tyke, wears a flat cap and the place is crapsack.
    • With the possible exception of flat caps... Truth in T.V.
  • Kinky Boots is set in Northampton, played as the boring, bankrupt small town representing the endangered values of Charlie's father, and which the fashionable fiancée desperately tries to leave or convert to flats. While the people are very nice, they're a bit small-minded about their new co-worker, a drag queen from London.
    • Strange really, as Northampton is about as midland as you can get. It's actually less than a hundred miles from London.
    • There's even an argument about it.
      Lola: Lola doesn't do North.
      Charlie: Northampton's The Midlands.
      Lola: No, Charlie. Tottenham Court Road is the Midlands.
  • Mercer, Cutler Beckett's right-hand man from Pirates of the Caribbean, has a heavy Mancunian accent.
  • The Damned United, based as it is on the true story of Brian Clough's management of Leeds United in The '70s.
  • Countess Lisl von Schlaf, in For Your Eyes Only passes herself off as a German noblewoman, until she and James Bond get alone together; as her nightie starts slipping, so does her Germanic accent. Bond guesses she's from Manchester. She answers, "Close, Liverpool." This scene is the Trope Namer for Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping via paraphrased dialogue.
  • In A Hard Day's Night, Ringo skips out of the studio to roam London on his own - when a policeman shouts at him for hurling a brick in the river he shouts back "Southerner!". Meanwhile, the band's manager frets on Ringo's potential misdeeds, what with his being "released on the unsuspecting South".
  • Speaking of The Beatles, there's also the film Across the Universe (2007) by Julie Taymor. The protagonist, Jude, is from Liverpool, and as such, is poor, wears a flat cap, and works at the shipyard. Also, his heavy accent is what brings Max's attention to him, as he asks him "Where is that accent from?" when they first meet.
  • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life the second Miracle of Birth sketch is set in the Third World, i.e. Yorkshire. Right after the baby is born via a stork dropping it down the chimney, the father comes home and announces that the mill is closed.
  • Educating Rita, set in Liverpool, filmed in Dublin. The film (and play it's adapted from) examine how education is not seen as a working-class thing, and Rita attempting to change herself to fit in with her classmates doesn't necessarily improve her life when she can no longer relate to her usual Liverpool peers.
  • The French film Welcome To The Sticks is all about a Southern Frenchman forced to move to the Northern part of France, nicknamed "The Sticks", and learning about how it isn't as bad as the rumours made it out to be.
    • Italy has a similar trope, where the largely agricultural south of the country views itself as the poor-but-virtuous real Italy set against those flash-rich soft bastards in the industrial North. The MAFIA is viewed as Southern Italy's embodied sense of resentment and anger against the rich North (vide the Godfather series)
  • Robin Hood (2010) has Russell Crowe attempt a Northern accent, although the fact that he often wandered into Irish was mocked in the UK (Cate Blanchett's Northern accent was much better). Also, the Northern Lords speak with strong Northern accents (unrealistic for the time as they would all have been Norman French, but never mind).
  • Formula 51, filmed and set in Liverpool.
  • Liam is set in 1930s Liverpool, showing the titular character preparing for his First Communion when his father loses his job, his sister becomes a maid to a wealthy Jewish family, and his father and brother turn to disparate ideologies (fascism and socialism) in response to the family's economic decline.
  • Distant Voices, Still Lives follows a working-class Liverpool family with an abusive, rage-filled father throughout the 1940s and 1950s. It's not entirely clear what the father does for a living, although in one scene he's washing a horse, and his children are nearly killed in a 1940 German bombing raid when they're out selling bundles of kindling.
  • The documentary Made in Sheffield is all about the many Post-Punk and New Wave Music artists that came from the northern city of Sheffield, including The Human League, Heaven 17, and Pulp.
  • Four Lions is set and filmed mostly in Sheffield. Omar works as a security guard at Meadowhall. The hospital scene is the main entrance of the Northern General Hospital.
  • Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels features Gary and Dean, two petty criminals from Liverpool with thick Scouse accents. The exchange they have with the cockney Loan Shark Barry the Baptist pretty much sums up the whole North/South divide.
    Barry the Baptist: Fucking Northern monkeys!
    Dean: I hate these fucking Southern fairies!
    • Two of Guy Ritchie's other films also include Northern characters in minor roles. In Snatch., we have Gorgeous George, an unlicensed Yorkshire boxer (played by Yorkshire native Adam Fogerty), who gets knocked unconscious for picking a fight with the leader of a clan of Irish Travellers. Don't feel too sorry for him, though, he's unapologetically rude to the Travellers beforehand. In Rock N Rolla, we have Liverpudlian native Pete, best friend of drug-addicted London rock star Johnny Quid, and something of a Cloudcuckoolander's Minder.
  • God's Own Country is set in rural Yorkshire and features some thick Northern accents. Life is generally portrayed as harsh, and the people stoic.
  • My Summer of Love was filmed and set in West Yorkshire, following a working-class teenage girl having a lesbian affair with a posh RP-speaking girl.
  • FairyTale: A True Story is based on the Cottingley Fairies case, which naturally means the majority of it takes place in Yorkshire.
  • I, Daniel Blake is set and filmed in Newcastle-upon-Tyne (though the Jobcentre scenes are not actually filmed at the jobcentre in the middle of Newcastle), Daniel himself is portrayed by local actor and comedian Dave John's using his local (Wallsend to be specific) accent. The relocation of downtrodden Londoner Katie (played by genuine working-class Londoner Hayley Squires) and her children to a city she's not familiar with due to housing shortages, and her having to rebuild a new support network forms a large part of the plot.

  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell references the North-South rivalry by having the North ruled by a king of the Land of Faerie and only conditionally united with the South until his return.
  • Sgt. Shadwell of Good Omens is in some ways a very sour Northerner, resentful of Southern England. Unfortunately, his accent makes him completely impossible to place, and he has accused Scots of being Southerners.
    • He's referred to in the book as hating all Southerners, and by inference to be standing on the North Pole.
    • Additionally, the demon Crowley asserts early on in the book that Manchester was his greatest work.
    • Neither he nor his angelic counterpart Aziraphale took responsibility for Milton Keynes, but they both reported it as a win for their side.
  • Although Wuthering Heights is set in the North and most of the characters were born and lived their lives there, the character of Joseph is significant in that he's written with a thick and an almost impenetrable Yorkshire accent (that contains several words and turns of language that today no longer exist) that no other character in the novel shares.
  • Catherine Cookson's novels (and thus the telefilm adaptations thereof) are almost exclusively set deep in the heart of this trope, specifically Northumberland.
  • The Plague Dogs, a Darker and Grittier sequel (book and film) to Richard Adams' Watership Down, is set in England's Lake District.
  • In Joan Aiken's Wolves of Willoughby Chase and successive sequels, as well as Midnight Is a Place, Blastburn is a northern 'satanic' mill-town apparently sited in Yorkshire. At one point in the cycle, it has broken off from the south and is ruled by a succession of sinister relatives of Dido and Is Twite. Although the series is set in an alternate timeline where the Stuarts maintained their succession and the Hanoverians exist as rebels trying to blow King James III up, most of the early Victorian tropes are there in spades.
  • Mrs. Whitlow, the indefatigable housekeeper of the Unseen University in Discworld is implied to have this accent.
    • Though she usually puts on what she thinks is a "posh" accent when talking to the wizards.
    • Lancre is partly based on rural Lancashire (with added geographynote ), a county known for its witches. Terry Pratchett used some names from historic witch trials for some of the Lancre witches.
    • Aspects of Lancre appear to be Homage to the rural Cheshire of Alan Garner: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and its sequels are set in the north-east of the county, where the Cheshire Plain (The Chalk) becomes the remote foothills of the Pennines (Lancre) and deal with the magical and mystical lore of the area.
    • Sheepridge, birthplace of Dick Simnel in Raising Steam: he and his mother speak in Northern dialect.
  • In the book of Layer Cake, a chapter is actually entitled "Oop North" and recounts the drug dealing protagonist and his associates (all Londoners) going to a meeting with their Northern associates. He frequently refers slightingly to "scousers" and portrays the residents of the region as a bunch of savages.
    • "Scouser" is a common nickname for people from Liverpool though, and "scouse" for their accent and dialect.
  • Yet another Terry Pratchett example is Blackbury, the City of Adventure in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy, heavily implied to be Oop North and explicitly so in the TV adaptation of Johnny and the Bomb. The name, as well as being a Punny Name, is a portmanteau of Blackburn and Bury which are two large towns in Lancashire.
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic The Secret Garden is very specifically set on the Yorkshire moors, complete with characters speaking in the distinctive dialect of the region.
  • James Herriot's eponymous novels, set in the fictional town of "Darrowby" (in actuality Thirsk and surrounding areas), deal nearly exclusively with farmers from the Yorkshire Dales. Expect many strong Yorkshire accents, along with the appropriate phonetic spelling, thick enough to cut with a knife. That part of England is now so closely associated with Herriot that the local tourist authorities named it "Herriot Country".
    • Author Bill Bryson, who lived in the area for many years, points out that the pre-WWII Yorkshire accent, as found in the Herriot books, is a very different thing from the current incarnation. To his American ears, the older dialect sounded almost like a different language altogether.
      • Herriot himself states as much, complaining that radio and TV all but destroyed the native dialect, and he only knows a few old men speaking it. The chapter about his arrival into Darrowby doesn't depict him having much difficulty with pronunciation... but the local terminology, on the other hand... Would you understand a farmer saying he "has a cow wot wants borin' out. She's nobbut going on three cylinders. if we don't do summat she'll go wrang in 'er ewer, won't she? Don't want felon, do we?"Translation 
  • The Sarah Caudwell novel The Sibyl in her Grave features a bank director with a very pronounced Lancashire accent, which is commented on numerous times by various people. Most of them talk about how remarkable it is he's risen to his prominent position what with the disadvantages he must have had. The gentleman is actually very well educated with a First from Oxford and quite capable of speaking with a Southern accent, but found that other Englishmen were more inclined to trust him with the Northern accent. Then he kept it and started exaggerating it - and the "provincial Northerner" persona - to make fun of a snobbish coworker he particularly disliked, but no one ever realised it was a joke.
  • Harry Potter:
    • In the sixth book, Spinner's End is in the north, around 200 miles from London; the descriptions are evocative of old textile towns like Rochdale, Stockport, Brighouse, and Halifax. Which side of the Pennines it's on is a matter of debate, with equally convincing arguments. An essay on the Harry Potter Lexicon by Claire M. Jordan states: "Of these locations, the Manchester/Salford area is probably the most likely." In the movies, Snape speaks with a West London accent - because Alan Rickman was originally from Hammersmith, so that can't be used to prove or disprove this theory.
    • Another Lexicon essay asserts that based on the details given in the books, Neville Longbottom and his relatives appear to be from Lancashire.
    • In the UK audiobooks, Stephen Fry gives Nymphadora Tonks a strong Yorkshire accent, probably drawing from her use of "wotcher".
    • All of which leads to a certain Fridge Logic: if all wizards spend their early adolescence at the same boarding school, they should all have the same accent. This was part of the point of boarding school for the British well-to-do in the nineteenth century. (Yes, even if they're originally from Ireland, Scotland, or Yorkshire.)
  • Hard Times is set up north. This being Charles Dickens of course, an author who was about as Northern as Mick Jagger, it's believed he had to look up the dialect in a book to make sure he got the Lancashire accent and slang right. Only the poor, uneducated people spoke this way though.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell's 1855 novel North and South is one of the earliest modern examples to contrast the differences between the (newly) industrializing North and wealthier South.
  • Learoyd, one of Rudyard Kipling's Soldiers Three, is a Yorkshireman.
  • Peter Tinniswood's series of books about the very Northern Brandon family are classics of Northern humour. A Touch of Daniel and its three successor novels are deliberately vague about whether the Brandons and their world are in Yorkshire or Lancashire - although one main character is a match-attending Manchester United fan, suggesting the latter - and combine the idea of the taciturn grim North with mordant observational humour. note  The first three books are set in the late 1960s and 1970s; the fourth, Call It A Canary, catches up with Carter Brandon in his forties in the entirely different world of the 1980s. Here he is unemployed due to Thatcher's destruction of the north and its heavy industries, a theme Tinniswood uses with real anger and satirical fire. Carter Brandon's descent into despair after the heavy engineering trade - all he knows - vanishes, is a microcosm of the death of heavy manufacturing industry in the North at the hands of a remote government serving only its electorate in the south. To those who remember the optimistic young introvert of the early books, this comes as a shocking postscript.
  • George Eliot's novel The Mill on the Floss is set in a fictional Lincolnshire community.
  • Unnatural Issue begins on a Yorkshire manor, complete with servants speaking in "broad Yorkshire" accents.
  • Fred Dibnah (below for TV work) is immortalized in Terry Pratchett's Raising Steam as railway engineer Dick Simnel.
  • "The Northlands" (north of Mossflower) in Brian Jacques' Redwall series.
  • Where the Blake sisters in A Pearl for My Mistress hail from. Neither is overjoyed by it.
  • Lucky Jim: Jim hails from Northern England, and sometimes affects a Northern accent when he's trying to make people like him, playing on the stereotype that the accent is trustworthy.
  • Tony Hill and Carol Jordan: All the novels are set in a fictional Northern city, Bradfield.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Caroline Aherne's character of Mrs. Merton, elderly Northern lady given a chat show, was very firmly based in the North Cheshire town of Stockport. Stockport is right in the top-right-hand corner of the county and is bisected by the Lancashire- Cheshire border which runs right through the town.note  Opening credits to the short-lived spin-off show Mrs Merton and Malcolm (Malcolm, played by Craig Cash, is her adult son) were conclusively identified as being in the Heaton Norris district of Stockport, claimed as Mrs Merton's home patch, and the yardstick for everything good and Northernnote . A subsequent Aherne/Cash comedy, Early Doors, about a grim, grim, pub called the Grapes and its clientele, is also very clearly set in Heaton Norris. (local references...). This is so marked that by about episode two, a Heaton Norris pub called The Hope, a truly grim place, closed down for a major refit and refurbishment, as the brewery company seemed to believe this was the pub being featured in the show. Caroline Aherne has been thought of in some circles as the spiritual successor to Peter Tinniswood.
  • Fred Dibnah dealt with steam engines, steeplejacking, and heavy machinery. He reinforced the cloth-cap and northern accent image Southerners have of the industrial North.
  • Harry Enfield's character Buggerallmoney, a Geordie Self-Parody of his Cockney character Loadsamoney. When Enfield did a live show in which he was required to play the character in front of an audience of actual Geordies, he called up one of the editors of the aforementioned Viz comic for coaching on getting the accent right. According to Enfield, the show went well, but at the end of the night he asked the audience how his accent had been, and every one of them shouted back "SHITE!"
  • Peter Kay himself is from Bolton and his comedy routines often revolve around life Oop North.
    • Phoenix Nights is set in Bolton and was filmed in Farnworth, Lancashire.
    • Car Share is very vaguely set in and around Manchester. People recognising the streets and roads travelled by two people going to and from work have said it looks like one Hell of a commute.
    • His observational comedy (as seen in Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere, as well as his stand-up routines) draws heavily on the culture of the North-West of England.
  • A lot of Victoria Wood's television work was based in the North, as Wood herself was from the Manchester suburb of Prestwich (her frequent collaborator Julie Walters is originally from Birmingham, though).

  • All Creatures Great And Small and its remake, plus any other versions of James Herriot's books. NB this is the rural north so there are some differences.
  • Four of the core characters from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet; Oz, Dennis, and Neville (from Newcastle) and Moxey (from Liverpool).note 
  • Badger was set in Northumberland (about as far Oop North as you can get).
  • Father Peter Clifford from Ballykissangel is a Manchester native transplanted to Ireland.
  • The Beiderbecke Affair was set in Leeds, Yorkshire, although one of the protagonists was a Geordie.
    Big Al: I've got nothing against Geordies, except that they're not from Yorkshire. It's not as though I was letting a Londoner in.
  • The Bisexual: Sadie is from Burnley, in Lancashire, with a strong accent.
  • Parodied on A Bit of Fry and Laurie, with a Northerner (Hugh Laurie) who is determined to prove to a Londoner (Stephen Fry) that the North is actually quite civilized, thank you very much. This prompts the Londoner to mess with him by claiming that Londoners have developed eternal life by drinking petrol.
  • The miniseries Blackpool and its sequel, Viva Blackpool (both were shown under the name Viva Blackpool in the US).
  • Gunn-Sar from the Blake's 7 episode "Power" is a barbarian leader with a Yorkshire accent despite being from another planet in the far future. Still, it made a change from the usual cavemen speaking with posh accents.
  • Brass. Parodies the trope to within an inch of its life sending up a number of northern stereotypes and genres. Including Agatha Christie, D.H. Lawrence, Brideshead Revisited, working class vs ruling class, and so on.
  • The Brittas Empire: Whilst the show takes in the fictional Southern town of Whitbury, Colin has a strong Geordie accent and Julie is stated to be from the North. Julie's Northerner status actually comes back to bite her when she falls in love with a Conservative Southerner called Alex and encounters a cultural clash, to the point that she eventually throws him out for attempting to give her elocution lessons.
  • The children's series Byker Grove is set around a Newcastle youth club. Byker is a real area of Newcastle.
  • On Chef! (1993), Cyril was an uncultured Northerner. His finishing school-educated daughter Renee, however, spoke with a really posh accent. Lenny Henry's character mocked both Cyril for having a Northern accent and Renee for not having one.
  • The Columbo episode "Etude in Black" features a Northern English car mechanic living in Hollywood and specialising in foreign and classic cars. John Cassavetes plays the murderer of the week and invokes stereotypes by patronisingly addressing the mechanic in the "What ho, old chap! Don't you know?"-type drawl characteristic of an American actor having trouble with a British accent.
  • Most of the comics featured on The Comedians hailed from the North of England, which is understandable given that it was recorded at Granada Studios in Manchester. Among the featured comics were:
    • Bernard Manning, Colin Crompton, Ken Goodwin (Manchester).
    • Mike Burton, Steve Faye, Eddie Flanagan, Jackie Hamilton, George Roper, Josh White (Liverpool).
    • Jim Bowen, Paul Melba (Lancashire).
    • Duggie Brown, Bobby Knutt, Jimmy Marshall, Charlie Williams (Yorkshire).
  • Coupling. Though Jeffery is supposedly Welsh, Richard Coyle is from Sheffield, and his Northern accent becomes more noticeable in later series.
  • Mister Winterbottom in Dinner for One is a stereotypical Northerner (with a stereotypically Northern name).
  • Doctor Who:
    • First Doctor companion Dodo Chaplet had a Northern accent.
    • The Ninth Doctor speaks in Christopher Eccleston's natural Manchester accent, despite him being an alien because, as he puts it: "Lots of planets have a North."
    • "Love & Monsters": Victor Kennedy/The Abzorbaloff is played by Peter Kay, and sports the actor's natural Lancashire accent when unmasked.
    • In the alternate universe of "Turn Left", Donna and many other residents of the South of England are forced to move to the North of England after fallout from an attack on London leaves much of the south irradiated. It gets worse.
      Some woman in Leeds: Used to be a nice family in number 29! They missed one mortgage payment, just one, and they got booted out, all for you lot!
      Donna: Don't get all chippy with me, Vera Duckworth! Pop your clogs on and go and feed t'whippets!
    • In "The Rebel Flesh", the Eleventh Doctor attempts a Northern accent when speaking to a bunch of Northerners; they have no response so he quickly gives up. Later, "The Crimson Horror" takes place in Victorian Yorkshire, the Doctor has to pretend to be a local, and much to his joy there is, in fact, trouble at t'mill.
    • Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor companion Clara Oswald speaks with Jenna Coleman's Lancashire accent.
    • "The Crimson Horror" is set in a (fake) mill in Yorkshire. A flashback shows the Eleventh Doctor and Clara adopting fake accents to investigate the trouble at t'mill.
      Strax: I strongly recommend the issuing of scissor grenades, limbo vapour, and triple blast brain splitters.
      Vastra: What for?
      Strax: Just generally. Remember, we are going to the North.
    • Thirteenth Doctor Jodie Whittaker hails from near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, and keeps her accent for the role. Her first line after regeneration in the 2017 Christmas Special indicates it may surpass Eccleston, as many fans who had been unfamiliar with her accent have said that they could barely understand what the line was.note 
    • Thirteenth Doctor companion Dan Lewis (and his actor John Bishop) hails from Liverpool, and is so full of Patriotic Fervour for his hometown, he gives museum tours for free.
      Yaz: Hey, Dan, are you from Liverpool? Why have you never mentioned it?
  • Downton Abbey is set around an Earl, his family, and his servants, who live on an estate in North Yorkshire. Rightfully, most of the upper-class and middle-class characters speak with RP accents, with servants being locals with Yorkshire accents.
    • The series creators went to great lengths to ensure that the actors playing the servants had proper local accents; most are Northerners and a plurality are from Yorkshire. Siobhan Finneran even matches her character's history: like O'Brien, she's of Irish descent but born in Northern England.
  • Frasier. Daphne Moon's from Manchester.note  Her accent is not easily identified as Manchester by anybody familiar with the area and Daphne's siblings speak with accents ranging from RP to Scottish.note 
  • Game of Thrones has to have more Northern English accents in it than any American production of anything, ever. Justified, since Westeros is more or less a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Medieval England, northern Westeros is Oop North. Appropriately enough, it's (mostly) the characters from the northern part of Westeros that have northern (usually Yorkshire) accents, such as textbook Yorkshireman Sean Bean. Bean's contract specified that he be allowed to use his native accent for the role. The only major Northman general who speaks in RP is the Token Evil Teammate Roose Bolton. The farther up north the series goes, the thicker the accent, so wildlings from north of the wall have a much thicker Northern accent than the Starks and the other Northmen. Theon Greyjoy, the Starks' ward, also has a Northern accent despite being an Ironborn, to indicate his Going Native. Conversely, those associated with the Lannisters and/or the South tend to speak with RP (BBC English). The Northerners' general opinion of the South is broadly similar to cultural stereotypes between the South of England and the North.
    • Ironically, Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, is actually from Yorkshire, and considers herself a "Northern girl". She doesn't use her original speaking voice to play the character (as for her son Joffrey, he's actually from Ireland, and has a heavy Irish accent in real life which is utterly impossible to detect in the sneering RP accent he affects for his performance).
  • Gentleman Jack is set in Regency-era Halifax and the surrounding country.
  • Bill Oddie of The Goodies, born in Rochdale (a satellite town of Manchester), would often play up his Northernness, for instance in the episode where he introduced the world to Ecky Thump, the Lancashire art of self-defence (consisting of hitting people over the head with a black pudding). There's also this bit from the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again version of Othello:
    Bill Oddie: 'Ow do, ah am Oh-thello.
    David Hatch: What kind of a Moor is that?
    Bill Oddie: A Yorkshire Moor!
    • Tim Brooke-Taylor, the personification of an upper-class soft southern Nellie in the Goodies, is also (just about) from Oop North: his family still run the Brooke-Taylor legal practice in Buxton, Derbyshire (a place which is pretty much at the otherwise ill-defined southern border of "the North". Shading into the Midlands places like Glossop and Buxton just about squeak in. But Leek and Derby, just down the road, are unanimously considered as being in the Midlands).
  • Great Night Out is set in Edgeley, near the Stockport County ground and a Brick Joke is the despairing loyalty of its fans for a crap team. The brick finally drops in the last episode, where the underachieving Stockport County play a cup-tie, at home, against mighty neighbours Manchester United. And despite the fans' hope of a miracle, are slaughtered seven-nil.
  • Jamie from The Haunting of Bly Manor is from somewhere around Yorkshire, her father was a coal miner, and she is a rough-around-the-edges gardener working on the grounds of the titular manor. The identity of the unnamed narrator as Jamie herself are given away by both characters' (approximately, in the case of Carla Gugino's half of the character) Northern accents.
  • Claude Rains from Heroes is from Blackpool, according to the show's PrimaTech Files website, but he has Christopher Eccleston's Salford accent. Eccleston is like the poster boy for this trope.
  • The TV adaptation of Peter Tinniswood's Brandon family trilogy, I Didn't Know You Cared, very definitely places the Brandon family's world as being in Yorkshire. (as above, the source novels were deliberately vague about the location being Lancashire or Yorkshire.) Sheffield was used extensively for filming and local nuances were introduced, for eg the Sheffield Green final sports paper.
  • Michael from I'm Alan Partridge is Geordie. The actor playing him is not but nails the very, very specific accent.
  • Inspector George Gently is in North East England, centring on Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland and County Durham. Gently himself is a transplanted Londoner, but most of the rest of cast sport Northern accents.
  • In the Flesh is set in the fictional town of Roarton, Lancashire.
  • The Lakes is really set Oop North - the Lake District of Cumbria is about as far Oop North as you can get in England before you start seeing people in kilts. This drama-mystery revolved around sexual and violent goings-on under the surface of a rural lakeside community.
  • Last of the Summer Wine, the longest-running sitcom in the world, is about a group of pensioners living in Yorkshire.
  • Last Tango in Halifax is set in and around Halifax and Harrogate in Yorkshire.
  • The League of Gentlemen is set in the fictitious Northern English town of Royston Vaseynote . They play up all the stereotypes of podunk rurality, although it's worth noting that the creators themselves are Northerners.
  • The 2006/7 BBC series Life on Mars is set in a 1973 Manchester that may or may not be entirely imaginary. Its Sequel Series Ashes to Ashes (2008) is set in London, but three of the Mancunian characters from the parent show, most notably Gene Hunt, appear.
  • The Likely Lads, a pair of Geordies.note  Also the sequel, Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
  • The Mighty Boosh: Despite his attempts to appear more exotic, Howard Moon is "clearly from Leeds". He's occasionally described as Northern in an insulting tone, or it's said that it's the origin of his unsophisticated behaviour, despite the fact that Howard is an upright, mild-mannered kind of guy. When he gets drunk, he apparently throws ladies in his 'wheelbarra— come on, ye dirty vixen, ye know ye want it.' Julian Barratt, the actor who plays Howard, is also from Leeds.
  • Parodied by Monty Python (apart from their reuse of "Four Yorkshiremen" from At Last the 1948 Show) in the "Northern Playwright" sketch on Flying Circus, with the oft-seen trope of the father rejecting his son for betraying his background and pursuing a different life... only the father's profession is writing plays for the London theatre, and the son's betrayal consisted of moving to Yorkshire to become a coal miner. Even funnier in that the entire sketch is an inverse "Gender-Normative Parent" Plot, with the father wearing shirtsleeves and braces and speaking with a Yorkshire accent, while his son wears a suit and tie ("It's the only thing I own besides the coveralls!")
    Graham Chapman: Hampstead wasn't good enough for you, was it? You had to go poncin' off to Barnsley! You and your coal-mining friends!
  • In the 1989 TV mockumentary Norbert Smith: A Life, the actor being profiled, Norbert Smith (played by Harry Enfield) appears in a kitchen-sink drama entitled It's Grim Up North, which runs through just about every cliché of the council-estate/Angry Young Man dramas of the period, including out-of-wedlock pregnancy, bitter family rowing, women in headscarves, and ugly flowered wallpaper.
  • Only Fools and Horses: For part of one episode, set in Hull in, whatisname:
    Del Boy: Just get me back to Peckham or I'll be saying "Eh-up!" and breeding whippets before I'm much older!
  • Open All Hours, about a miserly shopkeeper, also set in Yorkshire (although Ronnie Barker, from Bedfordshire, and David Jason from London provide very unconvincing Yorkshire accents).
  • The miniseries Our Friends in the North was about four friends from Newcastle, including Christopher Eccleston (again, though playing a northerner from a different region) and Gina McKee (who is actually from there). Newcastle is portrayed in the series as grim, but to be fair London is portrayed as being, if not quite as grim, one hell of a lot sleazier and more dangerous.
  • The short-lived sitcom A Prince Among Men took place in Sheffield and features Gary Prince, who has a Scouser accent (Said accent is very similar to the one Chris Barrie used for Lister note  in the Red Dwarf audiobooks).
  • Queer as Folk (UK) was set in Manchester, around the Canal St area.
  • David Lister from Red Dwarf is from Liverpool (as is the actor who portrays him, Craig Charles).
  • The three Red Riding films, which deal with murder and police corruption in Ripper-haunted Seventies Yorkshire.
  • The Ripping Yarns episode "The Testing of Eric Olthwaite" is a parody Coming of Age Story about a boy in Yorkshire who's so boring (obsessed with rainfall and shovels) that his family leaves him.
  • The Royle Family, set in the sprawling wastes of Wythenshawe, the largest council estate in Britain.
  • The bleak provincial city of Grimble, where Rumpole of the Bailey defended a couple of cases.
    • Judge Oliphant is a transplanted Northerner living and working in London.
  • The original UK version of Shameless (UK) is set in the fictional council estate Chatsworth in Stretford, Greater Manchester.
  • Both Martha Costello, the main character of Silk, and her trainee, Nick Slade, are from the north, although it's never specified where. They're frequently pitted against Martha's rival, who comes from Cambridge, and his trainee, the daughter of a London judge.
  • Spender, about a Northern detective played by proud Geordie Jimmy Nail.
  • Several of the comedians from Taskmaster have been from the North and have endured mild teasing about their accents, including Chris Ramsey, Sarah Millican (who are actually from the same town), Jon Richardson, and Lee Mack. Chris Ramsey intentionally turned this to advantage in a prize task to bring in the item that sounds the funniest when you say it over and over, by contributing a "coukbouk."
  • Jamie Tartt from Ted Lasso has a strong Northern accent and grew up in Manchester, fitting the abrasive, confrontational stereotype. Keeley Jones is implied to be from up north as well since her mother is mentioned to have moved back up there, but her accent isn't as strong.
  • Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear (UK) is from Doncaster, but went native as a southerner and rarely brings out his original accent. The phenomenon of "more northern than thi" (as in Good Omens above) was also referenced in the Polar Special, as they approached the magnetic north pole:
    Clarkson: We are now the most northern people in the world!...well apart from Michael Parkinson, obviously.
    • Whether he had any 'original' accent at all. More upper-middle-class people tend to have quite neutral accents fairly similar to what Clarkson has now. For example, Michael Palin is from Sheffield but doesn't have any kind of stereotype "northern" accent (although, like Clarkson, he does a good impression of that accent). Or think of Jessica Jane Clement from The Real Hustle...(ok, you can stop thinking now), who has a bit of a Yorkshire accent at times.
    • Then Christopher Eccleston shows up as a Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car, and the two have a brief discussion about who's more Northern.
    • From series 27, the presenting lineup contains Paddy McGuinness, who is from Bolton, and Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff from Preston. Both have heavy northern accents, which can sometimes make them difficult to understand for viewers not familiar with their accents.
  • The Pilgrimage of Grace in Season 3 of The Tudors...the differences in accents between the rebels and the Powers That Be down south were striking. Also helps illustrate how old this trope is too.
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is set in Runcorn in Cheshire.
  • Vera is set in Northumberland, and central character Vera Stanhope has a strong northern accent and the Verbal Tic of referring to everyone as 'pet'.
  • Waterloo Road is set in Rochdale, a town that is part of Greater Manchester. Or Lancashire if you ask the locals.
  • When the Boat Comes In, with a lot of Geordies.
  • Wild Bill: The series takes place in Boston, Lincolnshire, so many characters have a strong local Northern English accent. It's noted to be a struggling region, with much resentment toward foreign workers coming in and farms in debt trying to stay afloat.
  • Years and Years is set in Manchester, with filming having taken place there. A subplot also involves some of the characters visiting Liverpool.
  • Pioneering 1960s and 1970s police drama Z Cars is set in a fictional division of the Lancashire Constabulary.

  • The Lancashire Hotpots are this trope.
  • Comedy ukelele covers band The Everly Pregnant Brothers are also this trope.
  • Girls Aloud have Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (Newcastle), Kimberley Walsh (Bradford), and Nicola Roberts (Runcorn). (Sarah Harding was born in Ascot but grew up in Stockport and identifies as a Northerner.) This famously lost Cheryl a lucrative presenting contract in the USA, a country where her infamously thick Geordie accent needs subtitles.
  • Former Spice Girls member Mel C is from a suburb of Cheshire near Liverpool. Mel B is from Yorkshire.
  • Little Mix has Perrie Edwards and Jade Thirlwall, both from South Shields.
  • Musical comedian Mike Harding, from Crumpsall, Manchester.
  • Musical comedian Jake Thackeray.
  • The Beatles, obviously, from Liverpool.
  • Legendary post-punk group The Fall were founded in Prestwich, Greater Manchester and are a favourite of the influential John Peel. The North, particularly Manchester, is mentioned in their lyrics, most notably with "Hit the North".
  • Take That (Band) were formed in Manchester, their southernmost member being Robbie Williams.
  • Jethro Tull is from Blackpool, inspiring their song "Up The Pool". The band that later was known as Jethro Tull was formed in Blackpool but when Ian Anderson decided to relocate to London, where the action was, only bassist Glenn Cornick went with him. So the first lineup who called themselves "Jethro Tull" was 2 guys from Blackpool and 2 guys from Luton. However, after Martin Barre replaced Mick Abrahams on guitar, all subsequent personnel changes were accomplished by Ian calling one for one his former bandmates, so much that the classic lineup that recorded Thick as a Brick, A Passion Play, War Child and Minstrel In The Gallery was essentially Ian Anderson's Blackpool band with Martin Barre on guitar (and despite that description seemingly making Barre the odd man out, he's actually the only other member ever, besides Ian Anderson, to have been in Tull from when he joined till the present day. Go figure.)
  • Both of the Pet Shop Boys (Newcastle and Blackpool respectively). The song "Sexy Northerner" is about dispelling the negative stereotypes of Northerners as being all about "football and fags".
  • Sting is from Wallsend, Northumberland. His musical and subsequent album "The Last Ship" (which are unrelated to the novel and TV series of the same name) are inspired by his childhood and the decline of the shipbuilding industry in Wallsend.
  • Louis Tomlinson of One Direction hails from Doncaster, while former member Zayn Malik comes from Bradford. Harry Styles grew up in Cheshire.
  • The Hollies are from Manchester.
  • Ingested is from Manchester, though Lyn Jeffs currently lives in Wales.
  • The KLF (under their previous guise, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu) recorded the song "It's Grim Up North", namechecking 70 towns and cities in Northern England plus the motorway cutting across it.
  • The Hacienda Club in Manchester was largely responsible for "Madchester" era groups such as The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and New Order. Also had a huge hand in the Acid House movement. Sadly, in its later years, the club was plagued with rampant drug use and gang-related violence.
  • Oasis, causing a great deal of non-English-speaking fans to try and learn English with a Northern twang.
  • Pulp's Jarvis Cocker and Joe Cocker are both from Sheffield - but neither are they related nor, according to rumour, do they like each other much.
  • The Smiths, formed in Manchester and famously sardonic in their lyrics.
  • Little Boots is from Blackpool.
  • The Kaiser Chiefs are from Leeds.
  • Mick Hucknall and Simply Red, from Manchester.
  • Bryan Ferry, from Washington, County Durham.
  • Ewan MacColl. Best known for "Dirty Old Town", about his hometown of Salford.
  • Prefab Sprout, from Durham.
  • Annie Haslam, the long-time lead singer of the progressive rock band Renaissance, is from Blackpool. For extra Northern cred, the band wrote and performed the theme song for Tyne Tees TV's The Paper Lads.
  • Arctic Monkeys. Especially notable is how pronounced singer Alex Turner's Sheffield accent is, although technically the Arctic Monkeys are from High Green, which is a northern suburb of Sheffield and about as far as you can get without being in Barnsley.
    • While their earlier albums such as Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not and Favourite Worst Nightmare especially feature Turner's Sheffield accent, their newer albums such as AM have Alex Turner singing more clearly in an American accent (influenced by his decision to move from Sheffield to Los Angeles).
  • Deathcore-turned-Metalcore-turned-"Alternative Rock mixed with whatever else they feel like" band Bring Me the Horizon are also from Sheffield.
  • The Human League and Heaven 17: Also from Sheffield.
  • Joy Division and New Order, usually thought of as being from Manchester, technically from Macclesfield and Salford - which, admittedly, is a borough of Greater Manchester but is a separate city.
  • My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost, and Anathema, the so-called 'Peaceville Three,' are from Halifax, West Yorkshire (first two), and Liverpool.
  • Before and during World War 2, there were Gracie Fields and George Formby. The latter was the subject of a hilarious Peter Sellers sketch, the All-England George Formby Championship.
  • AC/DC's vocalist, Brian Johnson, is from Gateshead on Tyneside. Before AC-DC, he was in a band called Geordie.
  • Space, from Liverpool.
  • Def Leppard, Originally all from Sheffield, Drummer Rick Allen is from just outside Sheffield, Phil Collen is from London, and Vivian Campbell is from Dublin. Sheffield is their "Home Town Gig" though.
    • The New Romantic/New Wave Music band ABC (best known for "The Look of Love", "Poison Arrow", "Be Near Me", and "When Smokey Sings") were also from Sheffield. Connected with Def Leppard in that ABC saxophonist Stephen Singleton and Def Leppard lead vocalist Joe Elliott were early childhood friends.
  • Barclay James Harvest, from Oldham, Manchester. The song "North" (from their latest album, "North") is all about this trope.
  • Post-punk band The Futureheads hail from Sunderland.
  • The Cult, from Bradford, West Yorkshire.
  • Utah Saints, from Leeds.
  • Dead or Alive, from Liverpool.
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood, also from Liverpool.
  • Ladytron, again, from Liverpool.
  • Though he's lived in London for quite a while now, Rick Astley, who comes from Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, remains proud of his northern roots.
  • Låpsley, born in York, Yorkshire but raised and lives in Southport, Merseyside.
  • Jamie "Irrepressible" McDermott, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
  • Ed Sheeran, from Halifax, West Yorkshire, but raised further south in Framlingham, Suffolk.
  • Soft Cell formed in Leeds in the late 1970s when Marc Almond and David Ball were students at what was then the local polytechnic. note 
  • Robert Smith of The Cure was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, but transplanted south to Horley, Surrey at age 3, followed by Crawley, West Sussex, where the band was founded, and presently resides in Bognor Regis.
  • '80s Synthpop duo Vicious Pink (Phenomena), from Leeds.
  • YUNGBLUD, from Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
  • Christopher "Limahl" Hamill of Kajagoogoo, from Wigan.
  • Cabaret Voltaire, from Sheffield.
  • Yes members Jon Anderson (Lancashire), Alan White (Durham), Trevor Horn (Durham), and Geoff Downes (Cheshire), the latter two also of The Buggles.

    Mythology and History 
  • The North-Midlands-South divide in England goes back a long way. The Romans, gradually expanding into Britain from their foothold in the South, discovered the whole of what is now Northern England was the domain of one tribe, the Brigantii. Rome elected to buy rather than militarily defeat the Brigantians: their queen accepted client status, and the north was gradually and bloodlessly assimilated. The patron Goddess of the north, Brigantia, was absorbed by the Romans, who conflated her name with the proto-Welsh word for the land, Prydein, into Britannia. Brigantia/Britannia was also conflated with the Roman goddess Athena, who wore a military helmet and toted a trident. Therefore the North not only gave the name to the whole island, Britannia, the patron goddess of Britain who among other things appeared on the currency for nearly two thousand years, is a Northern lass.
    • Britain was divided into two regions for administrative convenience: the southern region governed from Londinium was Britannia Superior whilst the northern half, governed from Eboracum (York), became Britannia Inferior. Whilst the Latin names translate as Upper and Lower Britain, the "inferior-superior" distinction allows ample room for snark, two millennia further on.
  • The Anglo-Saxons discovered much the same. Rivers marked the borders of the contending kingdoms. The Kingdom of the Midlands, Mercia, shares its name with the dividing river in the west - the River Mersey. Which places Cheshire, by this analysis, in the Midlands. North of the Mersey was Northumbria. this takes its name from the other river in the east that divided North and South - the Humber. Northumbria occupied pretty much the same space as the Celtic Brigantia.

  • Peter Tinniswood's Brandon family (see Literature and TV above) made it to radio. The mordant black wit of Uncle Mort became a long-running radio comedy, Uncle Mort's North Country, where he and nephew Carter Brandon went on a road trip around notable parts of The North. Uncle Mort also attended and commented on, real-life cricket matches involving Lancashire and Yorkshire.
  • A less stellar radio comedy series, relying on stereotypes and cloying sentimental humour, was Castle's On The Air, featuring all-round entertainer Roy Castle and Northern comics such as Colin Crompton and Charlie Williams (see The Comedians, above in Live TV) in the music-hall tradition, inhabiting an idealised and sentimentalised Oop North.
  • A popular radio sitcom in the 1950s and 1960s was The Clitheroe Kid, featuring child actor Jimmy Clitheroe note , a scamp in the Dennis The Menace tradition, who of course lived in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Naturally. This series later moved to TV.
  • Musical comedian Jake Thackeray also contributed several series of music and musical documentary to the BBC.
  • A presenting team who held the prestigious Radio One Breakfast Show slot, Mark Radcliffe and sidekick "Lard", courted controversy by refusing to present the show from London. Instead, they broadcast to the nation from what was then the BBC's Manchester studios on Oxford Road, often making a pointed comment on the London-centred nature of most BBC broadcasting. note 
  • A comedy/drama serial on BBC Radio Four was called Stockport: So Good They Named It Once.

  • Buxton, Derbyshire, has a unique distinction in professional sport. Here, in June 1975, a first-class county cricket match between Lancashire and Derbyshire was called off. Not for the usual British summer reason of "Rain Stopped Play." oh, no. Here, in June, in the English summer sport, snow stopped play. This tells you all you need to know about a northern English summer in the Pennines.
  • Lancashire and Yorkshire are fierce rivals in county cricket. Both areas have produced many England greats including
    • Sir Len Hutton, former captain of England
    • Fred Trueman
    • Sir Geoffrey Boycott, former captain of England
    • Harold Larwood the infamous Bodyline bowler
    • Michael Atherton, former captain of England
    • Michael Vaughan, former captain of England
    • Darren Gough
    • James Anderson
    • Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, now a presenter of Top Gear
    • David Lloyd, former England coach turned commentator
    • Ray Illingworth
    • Joe Root, current (as of 2020) England test captain
  • The old division between the two codes of Rugby Football followed a North-South split so that practically all the big-name Rugby League teams are based in the North.note . This has not stopped the north from playing Rugby Union as well, and to a high level; teams such as Sale note  have been contenders at the highest club levels, and one of England's greatest Rugby Union captains, Bill Beaumont (Fylde RC and Lancashire), was a Northerner who played for a Northern club.

    Video Games 
  • In Beneath a Steel Sky, the mechanic that the player meets at the start of the game originally had a Yorkshire accent, but this was changed for the final release as US playtesters couldn't understand what he was saying. The factory owner Lamb, though, still has a Yorkshire accent that's happily very apparent even in the text version.
  • From Bloodborne, we have Eileen the Crow, who speaks in this accent in the English audio. She's from outside Yharnam, originating from an unspecified region called "the hinterlands". Given that all native Yharnamites have southern English accents (even though the architecture, names, and so on are based on Czech and Austrian cities), it conveys that she's from a close but distinct area with more of a rural flavour.
  • The Worms franchise, made by Wakefield-based Team 17, has a variety of regional accents for the teams' soundbanks, including Yorkshireman, Geordie, and Scouse.
  • Many characters in Conker's Bad Fur Day, like Mr. Cog who when turned upside down becomes southern. And camp.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins (or at least its expansion, Awakening), Amaranthine seems to be home to more northern characters than the rest of Ferelden and is fittingly located in the North of that country. Like Yorkshire (known occasionally to its locals as God's County) it's seen hard times but is also valued as a jewel of northern Ferelden.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Dunmer (Dark Elves) tend towards Northern English accents, presumably due to the connotations of cynicism and general working-class-ness, although there are a few Cockney voice actors in there for the same reason. Taken to a surreal extreme with Raven Rock's Lancastrian guard captain in the Dragonborn DLC.
  • In the Final Fantasy series (or Final Fantasy Tactics A2 at least), the written dialogue for the Bangaa race makes one think they have accents like this (or else classic Lowland Scots).
    Kyrra: Spear and helm are part and parcel of the dragoon - a prouder group of warriors ye'll nae find! Yammer on about me as ye like, but I'll not have ye drag the name of Dragoon through yer filth!
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, Ala Mhigan characters are given Northern accents to distinguish them from The Queen's Latin found elsewhere in Eorzea. Ala Mhigo is also the focus of much of Garlean tyranny, which has decimated their culture and economy. Additionally, Ala Mhigo's main industries (which have been devastated by Garlean rule) are mining and quarrying.
  • The protagonist Keith T Maxwell of the IOS game Galaxy on Fire speaks with a noticeable Liverpudlian accent.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas features Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays voicing Maccer, a Salfordian musician who is the embodiment of the Madchester music scenenote  and mentions Manchester and Salford at every other opportunity upon his first encounter.
  • Lucy Baker from Layton Brothers: Mystery Room seems to be from Yorkshire.
  • Sonny 2 has Roald, whose accent comes from somewhere in the U.K. and where his group was forced is Grim Up North to boot. Word of God says he's Irish.
  • The two humans in Poacher are Englishmen with incredibly thick Yorkshire accents. The protagonist, Derek Badger, is a laid-back Unfazed Everyman who even answers the question of "Where are you from?" with a simple "Oop north."
    "Well. Sutton-Upon-Derwent."
    • Due to language drift, the Blemineg also speak in thick Yorkshire accents. This confounds Derek's spirit ally Rebecca to the point where she has to use his brain as a translator.
  • Yorkshire Gubbins is set in the definitively real town of Gubbins, Yorkshire, complete with all the northern staples like run-down working-class homes, meat pie contests, wanton cruelty to Londoners, slug monster invasions, and sentient robots. Being made by natives all the characters speak in Yorkshire accents, and the game contains an achievement for playing through the first chapter without subtitles.
  • PAYDAY: The Heist and its sequel give us James "Hoxton" Hoxworth, a crude lewd, violent, foul-mouthed thug with an extra-thick Yorkshire accent and a lower-class upbringing in Sheffield.
  • In Pokémon Sword and Shield, it's implied that characters from Spikemuth (like the members of Team Yell, Piers and Marnie) have a Northern accent. Spikemuth appears to be a Dying Town, complete with shuttered-up buildings, trash-filled streets, and populated almost entirely by the games' villain team.
  • Resistance: Fall of Man caused controversy for prominently featuring Manchester Cathedral in one of its levels.
  • Ryse: Son of Rome at one point moves the story to Britannia- specifically, to York. The majority of Britons who Marius Titus goes up against have northern accents, in contrast to The Queen's Latin used by Romans.
  • Conrad Roth, the captain of the Endurance in Tomb Raider (2013), is from Sheffield. Lara even calls him a "Northern bastard" when she thinks he's died.
  • Ubisoft Reflections, creators of the Driver series and co-producers of The Crew (2014) and The Crew 2, are from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which is shown during the credits of Driver 1.
  • In the English dub of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, people from the Leftherian Archipelago speak with Northern Englander accents, including main protagonist Rex. Leftheria is shown to have a slightly more humble and rural culture than other nations.

  • Fan Dan Go is set in Lonchester, which — aside from the general weirdness of the Fan Dan Go universe—is a rather larger city than Real Life Lancaster.
  • Scary Go Round is set in the fictional town of Tackleford in West Yorkshire. That it has a seafront despite West Yorkshire being landlocked can be put down to Rule of Funny.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Annie's mother Surma is from Yorkshire.
  • FreakAngels has the Mancunian Alice who definitely qualifies for loud and proud and is a sister of gunrunners.
  • Wendy in Ladies In Waiting comes from Durham, wears a flat cap, and speaks in such a thick North East accent that other characters can have trouble understanding her.

    Web Original 
  • Phil Lester (AmazingPhil) hails from Lancashire just north of Manchester and has a rather broad and endearing accent, although it's dialled down since he moved to London. He often jokes that it comes back in full force whenever he goes to visit his family.
  • Yorkshire Yoga. Gerrit in ya.
  • Enter the Farside is set in Manchester and the main character, Shaun, comes from Staffordshire. It's assumed he has a Stoke accent, though it's never been mentioned explicitly.
  • Martyn of the Yogscast is from the North and has the accent. Other members of the Yogscast, particularly Hannah, Sjin, and all three members of Hat Films, will occasionally slip into an exaggerated faux-Northern accent while talking, to Martyn's occasional chagrin.
  • One variation of the Wojak imageboard memes is Norf FC, which incorporates many of the stereotypes associated with the region (eg their fanaticism for football, morbid obesity, working-class nature, etc.).
  • TomSka's "I Don't Know" has Johnny Knives' quite Northern Accent (he's played by Elliot Gough, who's from Yorkshire, using his natural voice)
  • Jeff from Warlock Games is an extreme stereotype of this: as well as his accent, his computer wallpaper is Jimmy Savile, and he prays to Ant and Dec.
  • Watch Ross - given that Ross Grant is a Manchester native and the episodes follow him going about his day in the city. As he's an actor and voiceover artist, the vlogs show a lot of the film and television industry there - including guests from Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Coronation Street.
  • The Actors' Life Podcast has several guests from the north, given that the host (Bobby Calloway) is a part of the above-mentioned Ross Grant's community.
    • Ross himself is a guest on the twentieth interview.
    • Sarah Elisabeth Flinton hails from Sheffield and talks about often having to do roles in an RP dialect because her natural accent is harder to understand to non-Brits.
    • Dawn Wolfe is from Newcastle and talks about how the industry there is often overlooked.
  • John Bain, aka critic and journalist TotalBiscuit was born in Newcastle in the North-East, though his family moved around a lot and he eventually ended up in the US. His accent was therefore much softer than it should have been, but on occasion, he would break up in a full-on Geordie brogue to the bewilderment of his wife and co-presenters.
  • Greg Holgate, a.k.a. The Stupendium, is a Londoner themselves, but in their Animal Crossing: New Horizons music videos, they voice Tom Nook with a Northern accent. At the end of "Nook, Line, & Sinker" they lampshade this by saying, "Tom Nook here; yes, yes, I'm from Yorkshire, don't question it."
  • Online entertainment news website/magazine WhatCulture was founded in Newcastle before relocating to Gateshead, and journalist Josh Brown is a native of Coundon, County Durham, hence his heavy Northeastern accent.
  • ZeroLenny is from the Northwest, and as such sports a thick accent. He’s not afraid to lean into it at times and start shouting “LET’S GO FOOKING MENTAL” like a Football Hooligan.

    Real Life 
  • This stereotype is centuries old. Observe the account of an eyewitness to the Battle of St. Albans in 1455, in which an army from Yorkshire serving the House of York crushed an army of southerners loyal to King Henry VI, then proceeded to sack the town.
    "Meantime, while the Duke of York was (as has been told) consoling the King, and comforting him, the victors were left idle, and being too eager and avaricious, passed their time with pillage, plunder, and rapine, incapable of restraining their hands either at home among their neighbours or outside among enemies. They were all, for the most part, of the northerly parts of the kingdom; and therefore, although stronger in arms and more ready to war, also to the spilling of blood...He who is born with the Northern hoarfrost in his veins...[Read ‘is’] Indomitable in war, and Death’s lover.
  • John Simm grew up in the North and often chooses to play gritty, angsty, and Northern characters.
  • Malcolm McDowell is from Leeds, Yorkshire. Apparently, his accent used to be a lot more pronounced.
  • Patrick Stewart is also from Yorkshire, but has no discernible trace of the accent, apart from occasionally truncated vowels. He briefly brought out his very strong childhood accent for an appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross:
    Patrick Stewart: Atha lairkin' ahht? (Translation: "Are you larking out", i.e., "can you come out to play?")
    Jonathan Ross (bewildered): Is that Japanese?
    • Much to the awed confusion of the panelists and the delight of the audience, he also brought out the accent to read poetry on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. You can hear it here.
    • He has also done adverts on TV for Yorkshire Tea, in which he gleefully switches from Shakespearian flourish to broadest Yorkshire, so as to extol the virtues of something which is definitively not Earl Grey.
  • Ian McKellen is from Lancashire (spent most of his early childhood in Wigan) but never uses the accent. He says that he is probably the last Northern actor who felt that he had to erase his own accent and adopt RP.
  • Michael Palin is from Sheffield, although he has lived in London for many decades, but can still put on a seamless Yorkshire accent, still supports Sheffield United and will usually drop in a mention of Sheffield in his foreign travelogues.
  • Conversely Sean Bean has a rather pronounced Sheffield accent and which is very distinct in much of his work. It was so prominent that after Bean was cast in the Sharpe series of TV movies, author Bernard Cornwell was so impressed with his performance that he changed his character's upbringing from London to Sheffield in novels that were written after the broadcast of the series.
  • This is very much averted today, at least aesthetically. For example, Sheffield, which is often stereotyped as a grimy industrial steel city stuck in the 1940s (most recently thanks to The Full Monty), has the most greenspace compared to urbanspace in Britain (mainly because the city's boundary includes a large unpopulated part of the Peak District). The steel industry shut down back in the seventies and eighties and most of the old, dirty factories have been knocked down and replaced with shops and apartments. Manchester and Leeds have done similar things themselves.
    • Not only that, modern Sheffield apparently has more trees per person than any other city in Europe.
    • And since all the old steel factories were demolished, more steel is made in Sheffield than at any other time in its history - it just happens to only need three men and a dog to do it.
    • This has happened with Manchester largely because the IRA set off a bomb in the city centre in 1996. Although a terrible event at the time, it resulted in a huge amount of revitalisation for the city since there was suddenly a large amount of open space that could be replanned, and of course, lots of construction jobs suddenly available. Comedian Jason Manford probably puts it best in his gag about doing a gig in Belfast, where he mentioned he was from Manchester.
      Jason Manford: All of a sudden, this voice rings out of the crowd, thick Northern Irish accent, and goes, "Did you like the bomb?" And I paused for a second and said, "Well, yeah, I did as it happens. Nobody died, and we got a new Next (clothes store - the largest one in Britain was built in Manchester after the bomb)."
    • Salford, a sort-of-sister-city, sort-of-district of Manchesternote , is currently halfway through its own renovation due to an influx of students and the sudden relocation of the BBC to the quays. Which basically means everything's nice and shiny as long as you're within spitting distance of the university or Media City, but tends to turn back to urban decay the moment you get more than about ten metres away from the splendor. Very nice pubs, though.
  • Although the old, grimy, stereotype of the North is becoming less and less true, the North remains the poorest region of Britain, due to a variety of factors: mainly breakdown of community employment due to Thatcherite economic policies, the re-alignment of the British economy towards London and the Square Mile, growing London narcissism, and the fact that most governments have ignored it so as to look for success stories elsewhere. Old mining towns, such as Orgreave (a hero city to many on the Left), are especially bad.
  • George MacDonald Fraser wrote the history book The Steel Bonnets about the late medieval version of this. The area is described as being in tension between the Obstructive Bureaucrats of England and Scotland when it is not actually being fought over. The region is full of outlaws and Feuding Families all seeking plunder from each other, according to the Good Old Ways of the border. The law in the region was at its most basic, and it was generally not a nice place to live.
    • P.F. Chisholm's series of historical mysteries concerning Sir Robin Carey, an illegitimate grandson of King Henry VIII who is sent to be Warden of the Marches and keep the peace on the border, deal with the same place and period. They're also rather good.
  • BRIAN BLESSED, Diana Rigg, and Jeremy Clarkson all come from Doncaster. It's now home to a large college for the deaf. That's just a coincidence. Maybe. Possibly.
  • Comedian and comic actor Lee Mack is from Lancashire and occasionally milks his Northernness (or irritation at the Southern view of the North) for comic effect.
  • This little girl who's become something of a Youtube hit.
  • Karl Pilkington is also famously from Manchester. Many of his anecdotes featured on The Ricky Gervais Show include the many eccentric folks there.
  • Hollywood actress Joanne Whalley-Kilmer is originally from Stockport.
  • Comedienne Diane Morgan from Mock the Week and talking head "Philomena Cunk" on Screenwipe is from Bolton and has quite a thick Bolton accent.
  • A Blackpool native, Jenna Coleman has a mild Lancashire accent.
  • Ant and Dec are both from Newcastle and were on Byker Grove. When they had fellow Geordie Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on as a guest for one of their sketches, Ant jokes that the three of them understood each other perfectly and if anyone else couldn't, that was too bad.
  • Famous graphic design studio The Designers Republic, known as the designers of the Wipeout series is from Sheffield. Their works sometimes have references of their northern origin (such as using the term 'SoYo' for South Yorkshire or 'North of Nowhere'). Curiously, their founder is a Londoner, who moved to Sheffield.
  • Radio presenter and writer Stuart Maconie (born in Wigan) wrote a travelogue Pies and Prejudice: In Search of the North as an attempt to define the essence of Northern Englishness. He asserts that despite claims to the contrary, Staffordshire is part of the Midlands despite some promising northern characteristics. Depending on the route your train out of London takes, the North only properly begins at Macclesfield, a town in northeast Cheshire near Stockport. Going by the alternative route, it definitely begins at Crewe, Cheshire. Anything in Cheshire south of Macclesfield or Crewe, by Maconie's analysis, is in the Midlands. The city of Chester counts as the North's last outpost against a different sort of alien: the Welsh.
  • AC/DC singer Brian Johnson grew up in the area around Newcastle. His dialect is often undecipherable, to the point where T.V. shows will sometimes give him subtitles during interviews.
  • Stand-up comic Roy "Chubby" Brown is from Yorkshire and speaks with his natural accent.
  • Sir Geoffrey Boycott is from Leeds note  and his thick Yorkshire accent along with his blunt speak as a Cricket commentator is legendary.
  • Jimmy Savile spoke with a distinct Northern accent at a time when British broadcasters still spoke in a very posh way. This made him seem relatable to the British people and was a key element in his rise to fame.