MIDDLESBROUGH-born BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern has told of the abuse she gets from viewers because of her northern accent and the prejudice she encountered from TV bosses before she landed her on-screen role.

Steph, who presents business news on the programme, said her strong northern accent still elicits disparaging remarks from viewers.

Steph, told the Radio Times: "Despite being a business journalist at the BBC for ten years, working behind the scenes on our high-profile news programmes, I was viewed by some in the organisation to be too common for telly.

"I remember at the end of one BBC job interview being told by the manager, I didn't realise people like you were clever. Sad, but true."

The presenter added: "You would think that after nearly two years in the job, people would be used to my Teesside tones. To be fair most are, but there are still some viewers who cant accept that someone with my accent can have a brain. It means that I regularly get abuse about it.

"I've had tweets questioning whether I really did go to university because surely I would have lost my accent if I did; a letter suggesting, very politely, that I get correction therapy; and an email saying I should get back to my council estate and leave the serious work to the clever folk."

She said: "It's inevitable that not everyone will like me. All presenters deal with that. What's scary is the ignorance about what having a regional accent means."