Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Pet hate

A family member who declines to be named has lent me the entire box set of Frasier and I am working my way through them in a post-virus haze. But I’m not so hazy that I can’t  recognise that Daphne Moon’s Manchester accent is decidedly iffy. It’s always bothered me…is she even English? never mind is she from Manchester?

Now I’ve looked her up on Wiki and found that she’s from Ilford. That explains why some of her accent sounds OK and some sounds dodgy and over-hammed. (Like the genuine but over-played Geordie accent of the dreadful Ruth on The Archers – 

why didn’t they kill her off instead of Nigel? But that’s another story…and yet another story is how liberating it is to write on my blog these days in such an ill-disciplined manner with brackets here and dashes there and sentences that don’t begin with capital letters. I have been dotting i’s and crossing t’s on the typescript of my new book and so it’s great to break out of the straitjacket here.)

Anyway…my current pet hate is American films and TV comedies/dramas that have English characters with fake English accents. You would think that there were sufficient English actors in the US for casting directors to find one to play the few English characters that appear in their films and their programmes – and with the correct regional accent. Daphne’s ex-fiance (Clive) has just appeared in Series 4 and he is supposed to be from Manchester, yet he has a distinct south-eastern accent. And last night Dave and I watched a MASH episode in which there was an English character who was supposed to be upper class/posh and had the attendant airs and graces and verbal tics, and yet he had flat Northern vowels.

Ooh, maybe there’s a job for me in Hollywood – I could vet English accents for casting directors.



Elizabeth said...

As an expat. from the Wirral,living here in the States,I absolutely agree with you regarding the iffy British accents(actors). Cringe worthy! Especially the northern ones. Clive was played by Anthony Lapaglia, an Australian actor. Liz from Kentucky.

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Elizabeth/Liz, I'm so glad it's not just me that hates it. Why do you think it happens?