Poldark star Eleanor Tomlinson was so concerned about “mumbling” her Cornish words that she turned to a speech coach.
British television dramas have recently been hit by complaints over mumbling, with viewers accusing actors of leaving regional accents indecipherable. Happy Valley, War And Peace and Jamaica Inn have all come under fire.
Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson star in Poldark (Richard Shotwell/AP)
Eleanor plays Demelza, starring in the BBC drama alongside Aidan Turner. She even visited a speech coach to ward off any potential audio issues.
According to the Telegraph, the actress told fans at Hay Festival that she did “a lot of work” with the coach, adding: “People need to hear absolutely every word and understand it.”
Show producer Karen Thrussell said the audio is scrutinised before airing, and changes are made if necessary.
Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson in Poldark (BBC)
She explained: “If there’s anything we can’t hear when we get the rushes back, we will go and do ATR which is digital recording.
“We have a couple of Cornish actors, and their accent is so strong and authentic we have to make sure we can understand it.”
Chair of the panel event Alan Yentob, who is the BBC’s former creative director, also addressed the issue of mumbling on television.
Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner star in Poldark (BBC)
He said: “There’s been a lot of talk about that. I know this has become a big issue of late and I suppose for older viewers one can understand that somewhat.
“It’s a balance to strike with trying to make it authentic and feel right.”
Last year, Irish actor Aidan told Radio Times magazine that the cast were worried about causing another furore over mumbling.
Poldark star Aidan Turner (BBC)
“I didn’t see the show (Jamaica Inn) but the fuss about it spooked us all a lot,” Aidan, who plays Ross Poldark, said. “We started shooting a few weeks later and I can tell you all the actors were aiming for 10 out of 10 on enunciation”
Aidan also said of filming the drama, set in 18th century Cornwall: “I’m doing posh RP (Received Pronunciation) anyway so it didn’t really affect me directly but I was scared.”
Aidan is currently the bookies’ favourite to become the next James Bond.