Ian McMillan is a poet, journalist, playwright, and broadcaster, known for his strong and distinctive Barnsley-area accent. He lives in Darfield, the town of his birth.
He began performing on the live poetry circuit in the 1970s and has published several volumes of poetry, for adults and children. He is regarded as an enthusiastic advocate of poetry. McMillan has had journalism published in Q magazine and Mojo, and writes a weekly column for The Barnsley Chronicle. He is also ‘poet in residence’ to Barnsley FC and is known as the ‘Bard of Barnsley’. His play Sister Josephine Kicks the Habit premiered in 2005. In 2010 McMillan was appointed poet-in-residence at the English National Opera.
McMillan hosts the The Verb and Proms variation Adverb on Radio 3, “dedicated to investigating spoken words around the globe”. He is a roving contributor to the Today Programme, and has also been a panellist on Just A Minute and was a castaway on Desert Island Discs. He is a frequent guest on Newsnight Review, The Mark Radcliffe Show, You & Yours, The Culture Show, Never Mind The Full Stops and Have I Got News For You?, and narrates The Museum on BBC 2. He has also provided voice-overs in tv advertisements.
In 2007, McMillan published Collins Chelp and Chunter: a Guide to the Tyke Tongue, a compilation of Yorkshire dialect and a few pieces of Yorkshire humour.