Lord Alan Sugar was met by a fierce backlash after he criticised Martin Freeman’s Liverpudlian accent in BBC drama The Responder, claiming that his wife Ann Simons ‘couldn’t understand a word’.
The five-part series kicked off on Monday (January 24) and sees The Office actor portray morally compromised, unconventional urgent response officer Chris in what we’ve hailed as his best performance yet.
Ahead of filming the show, Martin said he ‘spoke to himself in scouse’ for an entire year and a half.
And while many viewers applauded him for his dialect for being ‘spot on’, Lord Sugar wasn’t so impressed.
‘Why did the BBC make Martin Freeman speak with a Liverpool accent in The Responder,’ he wrote on Twitter.
‘Hard to follow what he and other cast are saying. No disrespect to people of Liverpool they are nice down to earth people. My wife gave up watching she said she could not understand a word.’
Unsurprisingly, Lord Sugar’s tweet wasn’t well-received, with one viewer pointing out that the show is set in Liverpool.
Responding to the message, the business mogul penned: ‘It might be set in Liverpool. I can understand Steven Gerrard. I can’t understand the character. Sorry but true.’
Another suggested that he could simply switch on subtitles to help aid his viewing experience, but Lord Sugar resisted.
‘Easier not to watch it,’ he said. ‘Hate subtitles.’
A third went on to warn the television star that it would be a ‘shame’ for him to miss The Responder because it’s the ‘best thing Martin Freeman has done’.
‘I am sure Martin Freeman is great in it,’ Lord Sugar replied. ‘He is a superb actor, but sorry I could not understand him and others in the cast.’
Many were furious with Lord Sugar’s tweet regarding accents and slammed the television personality for ‘causing harm’.
‘Comments like this, contribute to the ongoing difficulty in getting good dramas funded and created outside the M25,’ one fumed. ‘@Lord_Sugar please delete this tweet as it does only harm, no good.’
Another added: ‘It’s very strange how people from London think everyone else in the uk should speak like Londoners!’
‘What an ignorant comment!!’ slammed a third. ‘It’s set in Liverpool, about a Liverpool Police officer, and Liverpool drug dealers!! What did you want them to speak?? …. Welsh?’
Will Lord Sugar give The Responder another attempt? We’re not hopeful.
The Responder continues on Monday at 9pm on BBC One.
Credit: Original article published here.