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blessed brogue Love Island's Matthew MacNabb says Irish accent 'definitely played a good part' in casting

'It’s very different compared to English accents,” he said. “People like the way I talk'


Matthew MacNabb

Matthew MacNabb

Matthew MacNabb

Love Island star Matthew MacNabb has said his “different” accent played a part in a decision by producers to cast the Northern Ireland man in the hit ITV2 reality series.

The TV hunk was speaking after a survey revealed that the Northern Ireland accent is both the “most fun” and “the accent we wish our spouse had”.

Matt said his accent set him apart from the other Love Islanders along with the attention he received on social media.

“It’s very different compared to English accents,” he said. “People like the way I talk.

“The producers liked my accent — when we had the phone and video interview they seemed to like me in person straight away. The accent definitely plays a good part there.”

Language experts Babbel said some of the UK’s best-loved accents, of which the Northern Ireland brogue is one, feature in the top television programmes.

The survey said those with Northern Irish accents are perceived as the most fun. Matt said he does think people from Northern Ireland are seen as “pretty fun”. But he said his time spent living in America has changed the way he speaks.

“I have a bit of a Californian twang to my accent now from living in America which I’m not sure I like because I like staying authentic,” he said.

But it’s also had an impact on how he’s seen on the dating scene. “In California my accent was popular, the same as anywhere I go abroad — people love the accent, I always get compliments so it does impact positively,” he said.

“I hate the sound of my own voice. I watched the last episode where I was dumped from Love Island just to replay the pain,” he said.

“I can’t watch it — I don’t know how everyone watched me.”

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Despite this, he would like to do more television work in the future.

“Love Island was a fun experience and I’ve been offered a few opportunities already,” he said.

Accent coach and voiceover artist Nic Redman, originally from Annaghmore in Co Armagh and now living in England, said her accent has always proved popular in both her work and social life.

“It’s an accent that I know people have an awful lot of love for and often find quite attractive. I’ve also heard comments of it being smiley and warm,” she said.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone say anything outwardly negative about my accent although they take the mickey and get you to say things. Some people allude to it being aggressive but we’re passionate people.”

Her Northern Irish background has led to plenty of work with celebrities as they try and master accents for performance.

“For accents, I help performers learn different accents. Derry comes up quite a bit with casting like Derry Girls, so I help people with learning accent for performance,” she said.

“Northern Ireland is a difficult accent to teach. Ultimately it comes down to sounds and the Northern Irish one has mouth vowels you don’t hear in any other accent. That’s the one that people struggle with the most, and the music of the accent.”

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