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Bragg asks writers not to ridicule working class

1 of 1 Melvyn: Don't Mock
Melvyn: Don't Mock

"I'm not a fan of the working class being mocked, including by some of our famous writers … even by those who came from it," TV presenter and writer Melvyn Bragg tells the Radio Times.

 "All this 'it's grim oop north' sort of stuff. Well, it was a joke once, but we've got to the stage where the working class has been turned into a cliche and it deserves a lot better."

Bragg doesn’t actually name such "famous writers." He also suggests that if working-class characters were presented as intelligent and educated, it was seen as extraordinary.

The son of a publican, 74-year old Bragg recalled the importance of the library in his local community in Cumbria, in North-West England. The family listened to the radio a lot.

"We listened to a lot of drama, adaptations of books, comedy. There was a real love of music expressed in choirs, because you didn't have to have instruments except your voice. We lived in a very cultured environment."

These days, he is presenting In Our Time for BBC Radio 4 and The South Bank Show for Sky Arts, as well as writing a book nearly every year.

He has no intention of writing a memoir. "I haven't kept a diary. I couldn't write a memoir to save my life. I'd get stuck saying constantly, 'Is that right?"

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