Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Johnny's New Kingdom

I've swiftly become a fan of these wildlife series hosted by the indefatigable and enthusiastic Johnny Kingdom. Kingdom is quite a character, having been a gravedigger, farm worker, poacher and quarryman previously.

Last night we watched him on his own fifty-two acres of land near Exmoor in Devon. He was creating a large pond, ably assisted by a very large digger!

His accent intrigues me: it's almost like a cross between an Ulster and Devon lilt. I notice Johnny has lots of tattoos on his arms and wondered if he'd been in the Army. Perhaps he has no Ulster connexion at all.


Anonymous said...

Lord Belmont I do believe you're on to something there. Johnny has a a very "Norn Iron" bent to his voice. The way he pronounces "now" and "how" reminds me of my hometown of Belfast. I have spent a fair bit of time in Devon and never heard other natives with this accent. Perhaps he was a deep cover operative during The Troubles? LoL

Timothy Belmont said...

I'm having doubts now; I watched his last programme tonight - which I hugely enjoyed - and he paid a visit to his old school. He even ate with his old teacher. He's quite unique; maybe that's just the way he speaks!


MGF said...

As a native Devonian who has also lived in Fermanagh/Tyrone for 10 years, I can confirm Johnny Kingdom's accent is pure old rural Devonian. My old relatives talked the same, in fact broader. It is unrelated to any NI accent, even if it has some similarities. If you talk to real old Devonians, no the many blow ins or grockles, you'll hear the same speech, in fact Johnny's accent is toned down for the camera. In urban areas like Plymouth or Exeter, Johnny would be recognised as a Devonian amongst Devonians, purt De'm my ansome, zackly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you MGF I though I was onto some dark secret about Johnny Kingdom because to me it's just pure Belfast sometimes.He reminds me very much of Dick Strawbridge an Northern Irish TV presenter who has lived a long time in England.Well if you say he's old school Devon I have to believe you ;) I must say his accent is pure magic, but I really do hear a bit of "Nord Iron" from time to time.