Lucy Townsend of BBC News describes a situation I had not been aware of:
The accent frequently comes bottom in polls of people’s favourites. It is rarely heard on television or in films unless they are comedies.
It is also rarely pronounced correctly – the rounded vowel sounds and the hard “ing” are often emphasised like a caricature. Phrases like “alroight bab” and “trarabit” appear in screen versions of Brummie far more than in real life.
Steven Knight, the Birmingham-born writer of the BBC’s post World War One gangster series Peaky Blinders, has described the accent as “harder even than Geordie” to get right.
It’s considered so difficult to master that production companies have shied away from setting dramas in Birmingham: “There’s been a big black hole in the middle of the country as far as TV production goes.”
There’s a good deal more discussion, as well as a little glossary of words and phrases (in which, oddly, the local version of goodbye is given as “tarabit” rather than “trarabit” as in the second paragraph — Google supports both variants). I’ll be interested in people’s thoughts on Brummie as well as on any other accents/dialects they consider frequently done wrong. (Thanks, Paul!)