LAZY, ugly, smelling of burgers?

At various times in my life I could fit the description of one of these things, possibly two - lounging for hours in front of the telly scoffing junk food - but I wouldn’t say it summed me up entirely.

Add to that loose sexual morals and you have the picture of northern women painted by best-selling author Adam Kay.

Ex-doctor Adam, who wrote the bestselling ‘This is Going to Hurt’ and also penned episodes of the BBC TV series Mrs Brown’s Boys, wrote a song in which he dismissed women from northern England as ‘lazy, ugly w***** who smell of burgers’.

This may be dismissed as a bit of adolescent humour - he wrote it 15 years ago but it has only just hit the headlines - but it’s yet another example of the North-South divide.

We may be embroiled in a ‘them and us’ battle with Europe, but in our own country, the north-south stereotypes are as alive and kicking as they ever were.

I can hear it in the voices of London-based PR companies who ask me questions like: “Bradford, that’s near Newcastle, right?”

I hate myself for it, but I find myself trying to speak very clearly and precisely - my version of talking ‘posh’ - for fear they will make assumptions about my capability if I come across as northern.

I don’t know why. I’m proud to be northern, but I know how people from the south see us. When I first met my husband’s family, he confessed to me that his sister said afterwards: You didn’t tell me she was from the north.”

There are so many myths about northerners and southerners. It is commonly believed that northerners are more friendly and southerners standoffish. I lived in London for eight years and found people, at least as friendly as northerners.

We are seen as hard, in comparison to ‘southern softies.’

We think of each other as different breeds. While waitressing at a football club in London, my daughter’s northern accent was picked up by the guests from the visiting team from up north. “Fantastic - she’s one of us!” one exclaimed.

As I said, us and them.

The one thing I did notice while living in the south, particularly when I was a student, was how few people born and bred in the south had been to the north. My daughters, who now live in the south, have made the same observation.

To many, the north is still a land pitted by slag heaps, an assumption as common as Kay’s impression of northern women.

I admit I wouldn’t want to introduce anyone, let alone a southern softy, to the north on a night out in Newcastle, or any northern city. The hordes of drunk, scantily-clad women, spilling out on to the streets on a Friday and Saturday night, smelling of alcohol AND burgers, does seem to be more prevalent in the north.

“But at least we have fun,” a friend said. “In London bars people just stand around with their drinks as if they’re at a business meeting.”

A study by Debenhams confirmed what is almost certainly true: northern women like to slap on tons of make-up, while southern girls - with the exception of Essex - prefer the natural look.

I keep telling my youngest daughter, whose face is often three shades darker than the rest of her, “Less is more,” but she won’t listen.

Kay described northern women as ‘desperately ugly hippos’ with a ‘peanut for a brain’.

The hippo is among the most dangerous animals in the world, so if I were Adam Kay, I’d be careful.