BBC’s Alex Scott hits back in Olympics accent row after she was criticised for not pronouncing Gs

‘I’m from a working class family…and proud’: BBC’s Alex Scott hits back in Olympics accent row after she was criticised for not pronouncing her gs

Football pundit and sports presenter Alex Scott has hit back at a former minister who criticised her accent during her appearance on the BBC’s Olympics coverage.

The ex-England star came under fire from Lord Digby Jones, a former Government minister, who suggested she needed ‘elocution lessons’ because she speaks with a London accent.

In a series of tweets, the crossbench peer in the House of Lords, said: ‘Enough! I can’t stand it anymore!

‘Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word.

‘Competitors are NOT taking part, Alex, in the fencin, rowin, boxin, kayakin, weightliftin & swimmin.’

Alex Scott MBE

Football pundit Alex Scott (right) has hit back at Lord Digby Jones (left) after he claimed she needed elocution lessons and was ruining the BBC’s Olympics coverage because of her accent

He went on to compare her to Sky’s Beth Rigby and the Home Secretary and added: ‘Can’t someone give these people elocution lessons?…On behalf of the English Language…Help!’

But Ms Scott, who was awarded an MBE in 2017 and accrued 140 caps for England, shrugged off the attack and said negative tweets only spur her on.

She said: ‘I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets & I am PROUD.

‘Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent! It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.’

She went on to urge young children ‘who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life’ to never allow judgements on class, accent or appearance to hold them back and added: ‘Use your history to write your story. Keep striving, keep shining & don’t change for anyone.’

The 36-year-old concluded: ‘Tweets like this just give me the energy to keep going. See you tomorrow.. live on BBC baby.’

The comments from Lord Digby Jones and Ms Scott’s subsequent response sparked a wave of support for the presenter with social media users.

One wrote: ‘You didn’t need to respond but you have and what a response girl!

‘Keep smashing it, you are a credit to the industry, you have worked hard all through your career whether it’s footy, punditry and now presenting! Keep doing what you do.’

Another added: ‘The privileged showing their distain for the working classes becoming successful.

‘Alex has achieved so much in her life and is a charming young lady and is doing a great job, so you had better get used to seeing her on your TV screen for a long time to come!’

Presenter Alex Scott is part of the presenting team for the broadcaster's Olympics coverage

Presenter Alex Scott is part of the presenting team for the broadcaster’s Olympics coverage

A third added: ‘Never apologise for being from London. Never apologise for sounding like most Gooners.

‘You’re right to be proud, you were a great footballer and now you’re a great presenter. Keep being you x.’

Another user wrote: ‘Alex – you’re doing a great job. I think we’d all welcome a period of permanent silence from Digby, whatever his accent.’

Alex is part of the BBC’s presenting team covering the Tokyo Olympics. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team are broadcasting from a studio in the UK this year. 

Earlier this month, the sporting personality revealed that she will be commentating for FIFA 2022.

Announcing the news on Twitter, she wrote: ‘This is a big moment for FIFA, for football and women and girls across the world.

‘It’s also a big moment for me personally and professionally.

‘Whilst I am the first English-speaking female broadcaster to feature in FIFA, I will certainly not be the last.

‘I know this is just the start of stronger female footballing representation from @EASPORTSFIFA and the football community as a whole…’