1. ITV Report

Victoria's influence? Beckham's accent 'has got posher'

Beckham seen in 1996 for Manchester United, left, and 2013 for Paris Saint-Germain. Photo: Empics / Empics

Footballer David Beckham has become posher since his family move to America, a study claims.

Linguistics students at the University of Manchester came to the conclusion after studying videos of his interviews on YouTube since 2007.

They discovered the former Manchester United and England midfielder was less prone to dropping his "h"s or using Cockney-sounding vowel sounds.

In a separate video study, they found his fashion designer wife Victoria was posher than her "Posh" days in the Spice Girls as she was now more likely to pronounce the L at the end of words such as "all".

The final year students are studying how changing circumstances affect the way we pronounce words, under the guidance of linguistics lecturer Dr Laurel MacKenzie.

Beckham as a Paris Saint-Germain in April 2013:

Beckham speaking to Michael Parkinson in 2008:

The general assumption is that once we pass puberty our way of speaking is fixed.

But recent research has revealed the extent to which we can be chameleons in the way we speak, even into adulthood.

Factors such as social mobility and geographical location can have an impact on the way adults pronounce words because our peer groups and communities are influential on our language too.

– linguistics lecturer Dr Laurel MacKenzie

From the videos studied of Beckham - currently playing for French team Paris St Germain - he dropped his "h"s 80% of the time before his move to play football for LA Galaxy.

After the relocation the figure slumped to 20%, according to the research.

It's clear that Becks, once a broader Cockney, nowadays speaks with more of a standard English accent.In fact, he's even hypercorrecting himself because he puts "H"s into words when it's not really required.In America, they use the 'H' sound more, which explains how he acquired it.

But my guess is that his dropping of those Cockney sounding vowels was linked to his ambassadorial role for the Olympics and his subsequent high social status.

– University of Manchester student Charles Boorman