BBC TV presenter Steph McGovern has told of how she was sent £20 by a sympathetic viewer who described her Teesside accent as 'a terrible affliction'.

The 32-year-old was sent the money along with a letter from someone who said they were 'sorry' for the way she spoke.

The business editor, who appears regularly on the BBC Breakfast morning programme, said: "People were coming up to me in the street going, 'I can’t believe they’ve put you on telly!' - for both good reasons and bad.

"I got one letter that politely said, 'Dear Ms McGovern, I watched you on BBC Breakfast. I’m sorry about your terrible affliction. Here’s £20 towards correction therapy.' The affliction they were talking about was my accent."

She added: 'I think people tend to underestimate you when you have a northern accent, for instance if you have to talk to the CEO of an international company.

"But then when I’m talking to someone in a factory, it’s just like being with my mum’s mates."

The presenter's first job at the BBC was as a part-time researcher on technology programme Tomorrow's World, which she did while studying science at University College London.

She attended Kader Primary School in Acklam and Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough and went on to win the Young Engineer for Britain Award after saving Black and Decker £150,000 a year by improving production techniques for one of the company's products.

The former champion Irish dancer became a financial news producer on the Today programme on Radio 4 and the business journalist has been at the BBC for ten years working on BBC One news bulletins, Radio 2 and Radio Five Live.