Almost impossible for working-class youngsters to break into TV – Lorraine Kelly

It is now “almost impossible” for young people from working-class backgrounds to break into the TV industry, Lorraine Kelly has said.

Speaking of the financial barriers to accepting a job in the media, the ITV presenter 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.”

Kelly also recalled how a TV executive had told her she would not have a career in television because of her accent when she was starting out.

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

The star, who will be presented with the TV special award at the 2024 Bafta Television Awards on Sunday, 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.”

Now one of television’s most recognisable faces, Kelly was told of her Bafta award live on air on March 25 by Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid during her weekday show.

She has been the host of Lorraine on ITV for the past 30 years.

The awards will be held at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, with comedians Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett returning to host.

Previous names to win the special award include Clare Balding, Idris Elba and Sir Lenny Henry.

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