Tuesday, 8 February 2011

The Dick Van Dyke award for worst accent goes to…

The first pictures are out of Meryl Streep who is playing our former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (PBUH). Now this film is a BBC production of her actions before the Falklands war. So we can expect lots of poor oppressed miners and peace loving CND* being beaten by the Police state until the heroic left wing Argentines distract her by liberating the Malvinas from their wicked English Oppressors. But that’s not why I’m writing. I’ll have plenty of time to bitch about the film later.

The reason I am writing is this. Have you ever seen an American do a convincing British accent? I have, but they’re as rare as Rocking horse shit. David Anders did a good one on Alias and Heroes. Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Gwyneth Paltrow at a Push. And that’s about it. I reckon Meryl “I had a Faaaaaaaaarrrrmmmm in Aaaafffffrrrrikkka” will be as convincing as Maggie as I would be playing Deng Xiaoping or the President of Burundi.

The reason for this is straightforward. Thanks to the “Unique way the BBC is funded” Britain hasn’t produced a decent TV show since Danger UXB. Al Beeb don’t need to sell our shows abroad, because they have the threat of imprisonment to make sure they aren't singing for their supper, and the UK private sector is crowded out. The Americans, in order to eat, produce some fantastic shows that are exciting and have a longevity that British luvvies aspire to in their quest for a steady pay check. As a result our “Creatives” have to speak Colonial. American Luvvies don’t have to speak U English. Nobody watches British TV any more, so we aren’t hiring anybody, never mind the odd American. We can’t sell the Guardian Op-Ed disguised as “Drama” to the rest of the world.

*For those born in 1982 and afterwards, CND Stands for the Campaign for Nato’s Disarmament. A now defunct left wing pressure group that was in no way whatsoever funded and controlled by the KGB under their “Useful Idiots” programme.


Bill said...

Whilst I wouldn't in any way dissent from your pithy categorisation of the CND ;), for the sake of accuracy I must point out that the correct full name of this organisation is not "Campaign for Nato’s Disarmament" but "Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament" ... although I'm pretty sure you knew that already ... having said that, I think at least as accurate a name for that much unlamented organisation could just as well have been: "Campaign for Nato’s Dismemberment".

Bessie said...

Americans' British accents have improved a great deal since Dick van Dyke. I'm quite impressed by Rene Zellweger and Gwyneth Paltrow, except that they sometimes sound a little too posh for the characters they play.

More to the point, did Margaret Thatcher's accent ever sound entirely natural? I expect Meryl Streep is more than equal to the task of reproducing the strangulated vowels favoured by mid-20th-century elocution teachers.

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