How Does This British Accent Sound?

I was just listening to one of Slate’s excellent podcasts, and it opened with a new promo for Land Rovers. The voice-over actor has a British accent which sounds a little peculiar to me. I wouldn’t definitely say it’s fake, because my ear isn’t good enough, but it sounds a little odd.

Give it a listen:

Does that sound legit to my British readers? Or anybody else who has an ear for accents?


  1. I’ve been to the UK a couple times in the last two months and on the second trip, one of my friends felt he’d really hit the nail on the head when he described the British accent as “trying to talk while you’re yawning”. Of course, he also insisted on ending every sentence with “Gov’nor” while we were there so his perspective may not have been the best.

  2. This brit says… bogus. The particularly suspect bits are the “always” and “your local”, which gets pronounced “yer local”. That might sound right in an estuary accent but this guy is clearly going for “RP”. The result sounds like Harry Enfield impersonating a 1940s radio announcer.

  3. Recently we had a discussion with Brits and Aussies and the subject came up about the differences in accent. The Aussies said that Brits sound like “they’re trying to talk with a plum in their mouth.”

    It worked for me.

  4. Definitely a Fraudy. He trips up on “…always up for any adventure.” Sounds closer to a Japanese accent than a proper British one.

  5. The thing is there is no such thing as a British accent. There is the upper class posh accent which tends to be taken as a British accent but you can travel 100 miles in any direction in the UK and come across wildly differing accents. Brummie, Geordie, Manc, Scouser, Cockney, Glaswegian, Aberdonian, Fifers… Britain is quite amazing in that way. Apparently the best English is spoken in the HIghlands of Scotland, ironically enough.

  6. @8 – what you really mean is that there is no *single* British accent. There are lots of accents that are British and you just named some of them. And this guy (in the ad) is not using any of them 🙂

    @1 & @6 – mock if you like, but I get lots of compliments on my accent. You know, from girls.



  7. @9 Seriously, although maybe I should have said “clearest” not best. It’s often said of places like Inverness and I believe studies have been done although I can’t be bothered looking for them.

  8. Pretty bad, but not the worst I’ve ever heard. Scots is butchered within an inch of its life on a regular basis. Remember the Alexander Keith’s ads?

    Harry Shearer as Derek Smalls would have done this ad more justice.

  9. I’m away from my home puter and can’t find the URLs, but I think the voice belongs to a Scottish podcaster called Mark. The guy I’m thinking of has a music podcast which I’ve never heard, but he’s been a guest on the Top of the Pods podcast many times.

    The “accent butchery” may come from the text being written by an American and read by a Scotsman (I heard it spoken by one of Slate’s own people a few times first).

  10. Definitely not a ‘proper’ british accent. Sounds very Asian to me, especially the way he pronounces ‘L’.
    I am almost sure, that it is someone who has been to the UK, but is not a native.

  11. I’m british (scouser) and not many british people actually talk like that, well hardly any. thats just a stereotypical british accent. and as for the australian and american comment on the accents, just remember whose language it is 😉
    Scousers talk like “yer” instead of “you” infact many cities do. You’d have to be pretty clueless to not recognise different accents, it abit like someone from texas and someone from new york.

    british includes england, N ireland, wales and scotland too so this is more.. english than british. But anyway no, it doesnt sounds like a british person to me as we pronounce our vowels different, especially when he says “land” it sounds TOO pronounced and he talks abit slow for british.

    Essay over 😉

  12. hmm… not sure…… The English accent is very variable, it changes from county to county and sometimes even just from different towns. I’m from southern England, it might be an English accent… if it is it sounds a bit like a higher class slightly Guildford (surrey) accent.

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