Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

What Northerners Hate about the South (Jamie Apart)

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

What Northerners Hate about the South (Jamie Apart)

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW MARTIN

Sainsbury's is suffering up North, because its TV ads feature 'poncy' Jamie Oliver. But there are lots more reasons why northerners don't like the South. Yorkshireman Andrew Martin explains

NORTHERNERS do not like upbeat, happy people - they find them depressing.

Which is why, perhaps, we don't much like Jamie Oliver.

It seems that the adverts for Sainsbury's featuring the glottal-stop cockney cook are turning off shoppers in the North; for while business in the South is going very well for the supermarket chain, the chain's northern stores are flat.

According to Philip Dorgan, a retail analyst at investment bank West LB Panmure: "All those poncy Jamie Oliver ads do is reinforce the idea in the North that people in London are cocky, have too much money to spend, and too much time on their hands."

As a northerner, I'm not surprised.

Jamie Oliver's persona might have been designed explicitly to wind up people north of Watford. We do not like people who tamper with the basic concept of a bacon sandwich. (Jamie, of course, likes his bacon cut lengthways instead of across as normal.) We like to know where we are with people and Jamie is a slippery fish. On the one hand, there's all that "roasted sweet garlic, thyme and mascarpone risotto with toasted almonds and breadcrumbs"; on the other, he's drinking beer from a bottle. To northerners, it's a strange, strained amalgam, probably worked up by a committee of PRs in Covent Garden with the aim of producing one end product: money.

But Jamie can take comfort that he is not alone in being a product of the South hated by the North. Here are a few others: Northerners are suspicious and fearful of the Underground. They can't understand the cockney drivers' announcements - "Vis is a Mowden train" - and their incomprehension of the system is not helped by the way young Londoners dutifully place blobs of chewing gum over the "you are here" parts of all the relevant maps.

Northerners also resent the appropriation of the sacred "N" word for the Northern Line. There is, after all, nothing remotely northern about it.

The Tube Posh totty Tamara Beckwith, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson ... They might be nice looking in a scrawny, stressed-out, southern sort of way, but how can you go out with a lass whose name you can't even punctuate? And many of their names seem to approximate to "tara", the northern word for " goodbye", which is very appropriate.

The Krays "They was a pair of diamond geezers, and their old mum, heart of gold she had. They did loads for charity and, you know what, they only ever harmed their own. Cor, did I ever tell you about the time I met Reg. It was in this little boozer down Bethnal Green - the One-Eyed Butcher it was called ..."

Wake us up when you've finished. …

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