It’s my privilege to say that on Friday, February 9 I will be telling the incredibly moving true story of The Boy Who Gave His Heart Away on stage at the Birley Centre in Eastbourne, with some of the money raised on the night going to the Donor Family Network charity. Put on by Harry Farmer with excellent fellow writer Sheila Bugler part of the evening too. Please come if you can. Tickets are limited but they are available now from https://onlineticketseller.com/events/?id=1188&event=theboywhogavehisheartawaybycolemoreton
EastEnders ain’t Cockney no more says June Brown in The Lost Cockney Voice, first broadcast on Radio 4 last year. Now the documentary I made with producer Jonathan Mayo is back at 4pm on Tuesday 2 January 2018 (or on iPlayer right now).
You ’avin’ a laugh, mate? They don’t speak Cockney on EastEnders any more. That’s what June Brown says and she should know, having played the tough old bird with a heart of gold Dot Cotton in Albert Square for more than 30 years. “Slovenly speech, that’s what it is. I wouldn’t call it Cockney, no. They can’t help it, that’s how they speak,” she told me when I went to see her at home in Surrey. “It’s much more The Only Way Is Essex. That has become the Cockney of the times.”
She’s right, as I found out whilst making a documentary for Radio 4 called The Lost Cockney Voice. This isn’t about jellied eels and gentrification. I’m actually after a very specific lost voice: that of my grandmother Gladys and her generation. Gladys sounded half like a Cockney and half like the Queen. Women like her grew up during and after wartime in a vibrant East End culture but with the wireless as the source of news, entertainment and authority – and everyone on it spoke the Queen’s English, with accents that sound comically posh to us now. Nan and her mates developed this curious, one-generation voice that has almost vanished, because they’ve almost all passed away and their kids had other influences, like the telly.
I longed to hear that unique voice one more time, so I went looking to see if there was anyone in the East End still speaking like that – and on the way met some remarkable, inspiring people. Continue reading “The Lost Cockney Voice returns to Radio 4”
Cole Moreton has covered some of the biggest breaking news stories of our time, from war and crime to sport and royal affairs.
Crime: The disappearances of Milly Dowler, contrasting the reporting of Shannon Matthews and Madeleine McCann then April Jones; and The Ipswich murders. Still waiting for justice for Joanna Parrish, 25 years after her death.
Reporting conflict and terror around the world, from the attacks on New York to the horrors of Paris. From Iraq and Afghanistan to the fight against ISIS
Paris Friday night horror
New York 9/11 minute by minute
Falklands Reliving Tumbledown
Afghanistan The scandal of Marine A
Cole Moreton has covered some of the biggest breaking news stories of our time, from war and crime to sport and royal affairs