Educated, with a twang of London

Boodie spent his childhood in W9, but has lived in the East for most of his life. This is also where we met, in a pub in the East End. He describes his own way of speaking as ‘educated, with a twang of London that doesn’t shift’ and that comes from ‘humble beginnings’.

He summarises his accent biography in the following way: ‘rough west London’, Southeast London, where his accent ‘developed into a solid Southeast accent’, Bristol university, ‘where it morphed into a posh Bristol accent’, and back to Southeast London, where he ‘tried to keep my posh accent but started to fail’, before moving to East London. All of his friends are either from outside of London or well-educated, which ‘keeps my accent in place’.

Some years ago, he also took some elocution lessons ‘with a posh white lady with lots of wrinkles – basically Joanna Lumley’, which ‘has taken the edges off’ his London accent: ‘Before, it was just a bit too London’, he says laughing. At the same time, he is also becoming ‘more relaxed’ about his accent through work where he is often in contact with builders and hard grafters.

His family is from Bangladesh and he is the only sibling who was born in the UK. All of his siblings speak with different London accents: ‘No one talks the same’, apart from his mother, who will always answer in Bengoli.

Boodie – who now speaks like Joanna Lumley, but only just.
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