Frank Turner backs James Blunt in debate over classism in music

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Turner said his public school background counted against him

Frank Turner has backed James Blunt in the debate over classism in the arts.

Blunt was embroiled in an online spat with Chris Bryant MP last month after the politician namechecked him as one of the performers from a “privileged background” dominating the arts. Blunt called Bryant a “classist gimp” and a “prejudiced wazzock” and argued that his private education and background worked against him when he was trying to make it in the British music industry.

Frank Turner has now come out in support of Blunt. In an interview with the Metro, the singer-songwriter said: “Yes. I think James Blunt had a couple of good points but made some obvious clangers as well. I’m absolutely no fan of Chris Bryant… He’s a professional politician, privately educated himself, so that was all a bit pot and kettle.”

Discussing the presumed advantages afforded to rich people in the arts, Turner, who attended Eton, added: “James Blunt’s point that rock is one field where having a public school background counts against you was a good one: the music industry is full of people who called me a cunt because of where I was educated. And they do. Often.”

Turner said that he “hated every second” of being at Eton, stating: “I got a great education for which I’ll be eternally grateful, but it was full of pricks”.

Earlier this week, Turner confirmed that his ninth straight appearance at Reading and Leeds Festival this year will be an official record. Turner will play the festival without his Sleeping Souls band, headlining the Festival Republic Stage with a special solo appearance in August.