I could not stop myself from emailing the BBC World Service about a report on some isolated island in the South Pacific, whose announcer/reporter/reality radio guy was unable to get me to understand the name of the island, the name of the reporter, or the characteristics of its peoples. When I went online to look it up I found he was a stringer for ABC - Australian Broadcasting Company - and the reason became clear. He wasn't speaking English of any sort, he was speaking Australian!
Needless to say, no reply was forthcoming.
On Mar 12, 2014, at 4:27 PM, Michael Biel wrote:
Michael is correct but it has not been just a recent development. In
the early 80s the BBC purposefully started using regional dialects in
their domestic services as the country started expanding to multiple
local stations, both Independent Commercial and BBC. But for the BBC
World Service they maintained "Standard English" because for a large
percentage of their overseas listeners English is not their first
language. This was explained to me in 1983 at the BBC when I toured
with a class of Americans I was teaching there, and asked why the BBC I
grew up with sounded different from what I was hearing on my first trip
to England. But I am hearing more accents on the BBC World Service now
-- the U.K. is noted for how many accents they have, not how few.
remember, the starting premise of My Fair Lady (Pygmalion) was that the
linguists could identify the birthplace of an Englishman to within two
blocks by their speech.