Devil Of An Accent For Demons Star

The adage goes, ‘he who laughs last, laughs longest’. Over the years, I have howled at Dick Van Dyke’s excruciating attempt at a Cockney accent in Mary Poppins. No list of the worst movie accents ever is complete without it. "’Ello Me-ary Poppinz, ‘ow arrr yow?" Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, it was not. After such an insult, it’s a wonder Anglo-US relations weren’t set back a hundred years.

Fast forward to today, and any Americans who’ve caught ITV1’s new drama Demons must be bustin’ a gut laughing at us thanks to Philip Glenister (Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes). Demons, the fantastical series bearing more than a slight resemblance to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, is a contemporary spin on the legacy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula set in modern-day London. Philip Glenister plays Rupert Galvin, a larger-than-life American. He tells his teenage godson Luke (Christian Cooke) that he is the last descendent of the Van Helsing line. In short, he must assume his destiny and destroy the ‘half-lives’ (demons, vampires, zombies) stalking the streets. I don’t know about you, but I am still mopping up the blood after subjecting my delicate eardrums to Philip Glenister’s inflection bastardisation. Have a listen here.

Firstly, the crucial acknowledgement: there is no such thing as an ‘American’ accent. In the same way that there is no such thing as an ‘English’ accent or an ‘Irish’ accent. We all know that there are regional variations within the geographical umbrella – Scouse, Brummie, Cornish etc. However, I haven’t got a bloody clue which part of America Demons’ Rupert Galvin is supposed to be from. Hugh Laurie’s House? North-east of America I’d say. Dominic West who played Jimmy McNulty in The Wire? Born and raised in Sheffield, I’m told that his Baltimore accent is spot on. But Philip Glenister? Stick a pin on a map. That’s as good a method of determination as any.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but after the first episode, I resolved to watch no more. I just can’t take that accent. Perhaps there are like-minded people out there as early figures suggest Demons lost almost a million viewers. It made an encouraging start last week with 5.75m watching, but the second episode averaged 4.83m. Not good.

On the subject of his character, Philip Glenister said: "I was quite nervous about the American accent at first. I came straight off the back of Ashes to Ashes, but thought from the off that Galvin would be a nice removal from playing Gene. I did have a voice coach. A very nice lady called Judith who was very expressive with her language. She was on set for the first week and after that I was OK. I’ve swapped ‘Huntisms’ for Americanisms." Or so he thinks.

Now I ask ya, would it really have been so bad if Rupert Galvin had been English rather than American? Wouldn’t you prefer not to cringe as Philip Glenister attempts to sound like he’s from the other side of the Atlantic? Can’t you just see him going up to some zombie and saying: "You great, soft, sissy, girlie, nancy, bender, half-life! Get smited gobsh*te!"

Today I am mostly lovin’ – I am absolutely cracking up laughing watching Celebrity Big Brother. There isn’t anything major going on – no ‘race row’, no ‘Prestelle’ romance, no madness of Michael Barrymore – but it’s ticking along nicely all the same.  

Today I am mostly hatin’ –
I tuned into the Golden Globe highlights on Sky1 at 8pm. I’d barely reached for my cup of coffee when the first set of adverts popped up at 8.05pm. I turned over in disgust. What’s the reason for this, pray tell? It wasn’t a live broadcast, where UK channels are often at the mercy of US commercial ad slots. If I want to watch TV in America, I’ll fly there, thank you very much Sky1.

In addition, I think we have just reached a nadir as far as TV adverts are concerned. Tonight, during Corrie, I caught an advert with a child repeatedly saying that he wanted to do a poo and that he wanted to do this poo at his friend Paul’s house because they’ve got some kind of air freshener thingie. If I hadn’t heard and seen it for myself, I would never have believed it.   

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55 Responses to Devil Of An Accent For Demons Star

  1. Nicole says:

    I\’m going to have to track down a Demons clip and hear the atrocity for myself. On the subject of ads – they hardly have any here. Which is a bit of a shame because as you know, I love a good one :). I don\’t think I\’m missing the poo one though! We get Sky News and there are no ads at all – just weather forecasts where the ad slots would be. I\’m very up on world weather now!

  2. Coops - says:

    Hello Mrs D! I\’ve amended this article slightly to put the promo in for you. Hope you can access. 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    Cripes – it\’s awful!

  4. phil says:

    Agree about the accent. The show is actually not that bad. At least its not another hospital, cop, detective show that seems to churned out whenever there is a space in the schedules inbetween repeats of hospital, cop,detective shows. The accent keeps taking my mind off the rest of the show and I totally agree; why couldn\’t the Galvin character have been English. It wouldn\’t have detracted from rest of the programme. Phil Glenister… stick to what you do best, you sissy nancy boy… LOL

  5. Anne says:

    I have to agree with Phil about the content of the show. This is the ONLY Sci-fi/fantasy show that my husband will watch and is definitely one of the only programmes that hasn\’t been commissioned by the Discovery channel (the only other exceptions I can think of are the Fred Dibnah series and Top Gear!) that he will watch. He enjoyed it that much, he actually makes an effort to be home to watch it on Saturday evening or will watch the repeat during the week.I have never let a good or bad accent stop me from enjoying a programme and to be honest, I hadn\’t noticed whether or not PG\’s was good or bad. It was good enough for me to recognise that he was American and that was more than enough for me.

  6. Keith says:

    yep, it be a bit cheese like at the mo…. but for gawds sake its light entertainment for the family, who want to be entertained , as opposed to the boring i wanna be a star rubbish they like to force feed us with. Though i do agree , it would have been more likable if he had stuck to his accent… shame … still, its only fun.

  7. George says:

    Sure doesn\’t beat "Don\’t move…your surrounded by armed b*****ds!" Still a decent tv programme- but bring back Dr Who & Torchwood Please!!

  8. Jacqueline says:

    Torchwood and doctor who are great programmes and love watching them with my children.But, this is a programme that myself and my children do not enjoy. Would like to see the women in the programe be more than girlie girl and please the accent not good at all.

  9. mia says:

    I have no real issues with the accent – but the series is just dull and tedious and was done so much better years ago with Buffy.. even had better accent fun with Spike\’s amazing mockney – gave it every chance – then found myself wandering over to update some pc software mid-episode last night – a sure sign of boredom.

  10. rebecca says:

    I enjoy the show. It is a pity though about the American accent. They should have made the character English.

  11. Susan says:

    Should have stuck with a English accent, it would have made the problem more enjoyable. There does not seem to be a plot where the script writers smoking pot and throught this would be a good. everything looks better when you brain is being fried, Its like watching wind and the willows meets a bad 70\’s program. The last heir of Van helsing, come on get a more belivable plot.

  12. Emma-Louise says:

    I see no reason at all for him to have an american accent or even be american. Would be any different if he was English? It probably wouldn\’t because the show is terrible anyway. I don\’t know what it is that doesn\’t work, maybe it\’s the plot or even the writing. Haven\’t watched it since the pilot. To quote my mother, "it\’s a copy of Primeval. Something turns up hurts, kidnaps or kills someone and they have to stop it" and she still watches it. I can\’t be bothered to force myself watch a giant rat get shot at by ray guns. Therefore they have lost me as a viewer and am gonig to watch Supernatural instead. 😀

  13. Olivia says:

    The man in my life and I watched the 1st episode of Demons and after about 10 minutes had jaws to the floor. Why American, WHY???!!! I don\’t mean to type-cast Philip Glenister, I thought he was the absolute dogs cahoonas in Life on Mars & Ashes to Ashes but he has also impressed me in period costume dramas so I\’m not saying I need him to be duffing up some criminal in a leather jacket. I just think he is so fundamentally English that they either needed to keep him English or use an actor that would be more believable. I actually think (and I\’m happy to receive feedback, good or bad on this) that the reason no-one likes his accent is that it IS Philip Glenister! It just seems wrong so we hear it as wrong. Maybe that\’s just me. To be honest though I probably wouldn\’t have bothered to watch it if he hadn\’t been in it so I can see why they needed such a name. I didn\’t love it and I didn\’t hate it. Not being much of a telly addict this means I probably won\’t bother again. Sorry \’Demons\’, I did try to like you, I really did!

  14. Devin says:

    I\’m an American and I just heard the clip of Philip Glenister\’s "American" accent. There were moments when it was convincing enough, but other moments when I had to ask, "What was THAT?" I heard his English coming through several times. But I do think it\’s funny that in the interview, he said he decided on doing the "standard" American accent. There\’s no such thing, unless he\’s referring to a California accent, which is what you mostly hear on TV because that\’s where they film and where the actors live (for the most part). Also, he doesn\’t "look" American- he has an English "look" to him, which made the fake accent even more out of place. Anyway, I think it would have been much cooler for him to stick with his own English accent. It wouldn\’t have distracted from everything else.

  15. Jan says:

    On the subject of children needing the toilet – it just wouldn\’t work if the small boy was to announce that he "wanted to defecate" nor would it be seemly for him to say "I want a sh*t" or a crap or a dump. Perhaps MSN Editor Coops doesn\’t have kids 🙂

  16. Coops - says:

    Jan S, re: the Glade adert – as I stated in my original piece, I don\’t care if the protagonist is a child or an adult, I don\’t want to hear the word \’poo\’ in an advert – that\’s my pipe and i\’m smoking it. 🙂 As for Demons, Devin thanks for your contribution. Good to get the American perspective.

  17. Unknown says:

    well, i thought it was just me, i made my husband watch it this week, my eldest daughter refused to! what the hell is that accent? i love philip glenister but theres no need for that c*** is there? its our kind of prog but please, lose the accent!

  18. peter says:

    After dick van dykes english accent in mary poppins i don\’t think anyone doing any accent in any country should be blamed for their performance as his was a insult to the people of this country

  19. Olivia says:

    Jan – you completely and utterly missed the Editors point about the \’poo\’ advert. I\’m afraid you\’re being one of those parents who jumps to the defense of kids behaviour having not actually listened properly to the argument. As she has pointed out, it\’s the use of the word that she (and me by the way) take umbrage to. The point is not whether it\’s realistic for a child to say that but why they felt they needed to use that example at all. I am a parent and things I might find cute or endearing in my own kid I don\’t necessarily find it so in others! A bit of escapism in my telly watching for me please!

  20. Leanne says:

    what I dont get is why when they stared filming someone didnt \’suggest\’ dropping the acecnt! surely someone muct have noticed how bad it was?!?!

  21. Coops - says:

    No name, you\’ve hit the nail on the head re: that \’poo\’ advert. Leanne, perhaps they were hoping we all wouldn\’t notice. 😉 I suspect it was one of those things that sounded good on paper; like Don Cheadle playing a Londoner in the Ocean\’s films. How do you tell an actor that they stink at something when it\’s supposed to be part of their craft? Mr Glenister simply doesn\’t convince as an American. How ironic that the oh-so-British Hugh Laurie, who rowed for Cambridge fer gawds sake, delievered such a great audition that he fooled the producers of House into thinking he was American.

  22. Michael says:

    Glade ~ ghastly !Glenister ~ ghastly !

  23. Jenni says:

    ahh his accent is sooo annoying!!why did they feel the need to put that in?!?!i have aso resolved not to watch it, as it is not only shockingly bad, but i cannot take Philip Glenisters awful faux-american accent!

  24. Adrian says:

    Just a couple of things I can\’t get my head around with this program one is WHY WHY WHY do we need an Engkish actor in an English series playing the part of an American (with a VERY BAD accent) WHAT is so wrong with the whole cast being English with English accents??? In my opinion the producers of this program just dumbed down what could have been a pretty good show. Another point I feel needs a mention was at the end of last weeks show one of the actors was given a NEW replacement mobile phone just HOW did the messages sent to his old phone manage to get onto this new one?? continuity people take a BIG slap on the wrist.

  25. Unknown says:

    Oh for christ sake get a life you sad ******* – The show is spot on and the accent is pretty darn good, its pillocks like yourself that slag off shows

  26. Coops - says:

    No name – agreed. They should\’ve made the character English in the first place. Failing, that – hire a Yank! There are a couple of Americans living here…David Soul springs to mind. He\’s still an iconic draw thanks to Starsky and Hutch. Or Michael Brandon who was Dempsey in Dempsey and Makepeace – he could\’ve played the role too.

  27. Coops - says:

    john said: "its pillocks like yourself that slag off shows"Errrrrrr…what do you expect a TV editor to do? Expressing an opinion about TV is part of the remit. D\’oh!

  28. Nikki says:

    Me, my husband and kids settled down to watch Demons with high expectations, however after a few seconds of stunned silence after Philip Glenister opened his mouth and spoke, my husband and I were were in such hysterics that we missed a lot of the show. No sooner had we recovered from one bought of giggles, the man would speak and off we\’d go again.Admittedly the kids were enjoying it and were less than impressed with the childish guffaws of their parents so it\’s a neat little show for them.I certainly would never compare it to the likes of Buffy, although that was a bit ropey in season one (in terms of props/make-up etc) at least when they decided to have an English character in it they had the sense to …er….hire an English character, namely Anthony Stewart Head.So all in all I\’d say fun entertainment for the kids but if it\’s ever going to stand a chance of longevity then the accent needs to be eradicated. Perhaps some foul demon that swaps peoples bodies around could do the same for Philip Glenister, then when they finally get swapped back…..uh-oh……the accent didn\’t come with it and our man is now stuck with his English accent.Writers….are you getting this down?

  29. Denise says:

    I\’m enjoying the show but the accent IS dreadful!! Apparently the character was supposed to have a Texan accent but Philip Glenister said he couldn\’t face all the voice coaching that would involve so went for a "generic American accent". As has been pointed out, there\’s no such thing! You should have gone for the coaching, Philip…..

  30. Unknown says:

    I have to say that I was looking forward to Demons – but after watching the first two episodes I\’m finding it to be a pale imitation of Buffy. Philip Glenister\’s accent is appalling, but why did the director feel the need for an American accent anyway? Surely his native accent would have worked just as well? At least James Marsters managed a decent English accent when he played Spike!

  31. isabel says:

    His accent was terrible, really atrocious! It was amusing at first but then I got bored of racking my brain as to why he had to be an American in the first place. Anyway, I couldn\’t manage to watch the whole thing because of several factors: his rubbish accent, the rest of the actors were pretty mediocre, the special effects were average and the mega powerful teenage rats who could bash in doors and flip and do all sorts of things were suddenly unable to fend off one bloke which was just pathetic. The girl that was so good in \’Survivors\’ has also let herself down I think. The whole thing just wasn\’t dark enough – or sophisticated enough. A really poor effort, suitable for 12 year olds I\’d say, I shan\’t bother with it again.

  32. Angie says:

    We adore Glenister , but after the 1st episode, we were in hysterics and lost the plot completely . That accent is awful ! The programme would have been better with him as "The Gene Genie" !!!! Someone should have told him how terrible he sounded. Or is it because he is now "A BIG STAR" ? Demons is a turn off now in our house…..

  33. Ky says:

    Demons is just a naff concept full stop. Buffy was what is was and did everything this show is trying to accomplish.If they wanted an English version of Buffy they could have tried much harder to come up with something more original.For example….Buffy has a Guardian who informs her of her prophecy called "Rupert Giles" who is English, Luke has an American thing called "Rupert Galvin". Why would they have done that? – The rest of the story is almost identical yet reversed too. Throughout the first episode I was not impressed. I haven\’t heard the work "Freak" so often since the early episodes of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Thanks Libby wasn\’t that back in 1996?) and everytime he said "I\’ll surely Smite Thee" he sounded more like Captain Jack Sparrow than an American version of Buffy\’s Giles.Complete waste of time and i\’ll be surprised if the show comes back for another series. Although I was loving the blatant sex appeal of the show. The writers must have been like "right guys, the shows pretty awful…..I know! Lets have Christian walk about naked constantly and we\’ll get some viewers…"I agreed with that idea personally 🙂

  34. Gabriella says:

    Are people really willing to stop watching a show after ONE episode? Seriously? And all because of one actor\’s accent?Fair do\’s, it is a terrible accent and now that it\’s been described, yeah there are one or two Buffyisms, but I\’m willing to watch a few episodes, see if it actually grows in to it\’s own or gets worse.

  35. Coops - says:

    angel orion, I\’m sorry but I just can\’t bear that awful accent. It\’s too much of a distraction for me. At least Dick Van Dyke\’s effort was funny…

  36. Zoe says:

    I totally enjoy Demons and will try my best to tune in on a Sat nite, but I have to agree that the accent is dreadful. He would have been better keeping an English or even Irish accent.

  37. Peter says:

    John. Get a life? ….for remarking there isnt glitter on this turd."Spot On" Are we watching the same show?ITV have scheduled this on Sat night but it is a travesty. It is not family entertainment – fit for kids TV only.The concept is a straight copy of Buffy but reversing some things. American adult involved with Brit lad in UK =not= English adult involved with Yank lass in USA.The two young leads are badly cast. He is just good-looking but, sadly, a "Leona" in the charisma stakes. She is just annoying. The plots are feeble. I quite liked the link back to the Bram Stoker novel in the latest episode but the rest was twaddle. ….Unless the idea was this would be camp and funny?Why does the lad wear that awful maroon coat???No more for me.

  38. Jenni says:

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but does it really matter if Philips accent isn\’t brilliant ? It\’s his acting that i watch it for as i am a huge fan of his. I think that the series is really good and i am quite hooked, but i do agree about the timing of its airing ! It should be on a bit later given the content !

  39. Jo says:

    hahahahaha! really cringeworthy! god knows what the yanks think considering how annoying it is that their tv producers seem to think the brits are either really posh or cockney!i only watched one episode and thought it was pretty pants anyway. supernatural is much better!

  40. Jo says:

    john – when was the last time you heard an american that sounded like that. love philip glenister but COME ON!? the only exceptions are perhaps the osbourne kids and others like them who genuinely have that sort of english/american crossover. apart from that NO! no no no!

  41. Hannah says:

    I actually couldn\’t care less that his American accent is bad- it makes a change from a bad English accent. Besides, the series is actually pretty good and his accent just makes it more funny. It\’s so much better than Merlin.

  42. Phoenix says:

    After watching the trailers I was really looking forward to \’Demons\’, but I didn\’t switch over for episode 2. In fact I think my brain shut down half-way through episode 1. I made my excuses \’Too much Buffyness\’, \’Not gritty enough\’ … But I have to admit to myself, \’It\’s that bloody accent…\’.Phillip Glenister was an absolute legend in \’Life On Mars\’ and \’Ashes to Ashes\’, but in \’Demons\’ he is a complete wet-end.It reminded me of the audition stages of \’X-Factor\’ … Surely someone must tell the contestants that they sound ridiculous … friends, families, loved ones??? Why did no-one tell Phillip? The director? The co-stars? The guy who makes tea on set? The people responsible for this show should have said \’Alright, this isn\’t working … Why don\’t we make him English … Rupert could sound just like Gene Hunt\’ …

  43. Morag says:

    I watched the Youtube clip about his accent and thought it was fine, to the average British ear. Maybe an American or a pretentious git might be a bit po-faced about it, but it sounded ok to me. Given that he did a few moments of a perfectly acceptable Texan accent (which he decided he didn\’t want to do), I think the accent came out as he wanted it to.

  44. Audrey says:

    I personally like "DEMONS" so does my husband, and we believe given time it will become a great show, as for the American accent it\’s not as bad as some people make out, it\’s being compared with "Buffy", why can\’t we just enjoy something that\’s British made and stop comparing the programmes made here with everything "AMERICAN"

  45. jacqui says:

    I love Demons, and as for Philip Glenister I would\’nt kick him out of bed for eatin crisps as they say here in Bristol , it Brizzle or any of the other quaint sayins all them people in Holby city or Casualty pronounce it .We may roll our Rs and sound a little less cityfyed than they do in London but we takes people as we finds them an puts up with all them others who try and speak like we do . We don\’t mind if people gets it wrong as long as they don\’t put us down or take the p**s, Demonds is much more sensible than Buffy or Angel and as escapism goes it\’s alright. Keep it up Phil the accent is just anoying enough to be American

  46. Hollie says:

    I like my supernatural shows, and I have to say that I have often enjoyed shows that I know aren\’t great quality but were still fun… I tried two episodes of Demons and gave up. It\’s a Buffy rip off – I\’d forgive that if only it wasn\’t such a and a bad one

  47. suzanne says:

    well i enjoyed every episode of demons every week and i hope there going to make more i dont care about the accent as long as the programme is good

  48. Mandy says:

    I have to agree with Suzanne, Demons was great. Who cared about the accent of Galvin, I didn\’t. I was too interested in watching the show. I hope they bring another series out as there is not much good programmes on the box these days. If you are going to stop watching a show just for the sake of an accent that is just pure silliness. Rate the show!!!Fab Fab Fab Fab can\’t wait until it comes back on the box. Now only have Supernatural which is on a Sunday night which is also great!

  49. gil says:

    Leave Philip Glenister alone. Its not that bad an accent there is just the hint of an American accent which is far better than a really strong one that doesn\’t work. Its ok. The programme is good entertainment I enjoy it and do not want to hear people with nothing better to do than critisize others bad mouth Philip. As I said LEAVE HIM ALONE.

  50. Shelleyan says:

    You could always do as I do and just watch it with no sound, and look at the pictures in between licking the screen? ;))))

  51. Luscious says:

    hehe! I\’ve just tried to listen to "the accent" and lasted 34 seconds!! I\’ve not been able to watch a whole episode as the whole concept seems absurd and pretty amateurish by Supernatural standards!! (specially the McCauley with the "Crook" (getit?!)nose whats the deal with that?! Anyhoo I was duped by the trailers – thought it was gonna be FAB , was sorely disappointed!!! On the plus side; for the short time I\’ve forgotten it\’s been on my family do shriek with laughter at how hilariously pants it is!

  52. J says:

    Good ol\’ Phil! I only watch "Demons" because he\’s in it. Anyone who travels the world (as I presume vampire hunters do) is bound to have a peculiar accent. The young bloke gets on my nerves, looking glum the whole time – he\’s the wet week. Thanks Jacqui (Feb. 4) – I liked the Bristol saying which sums up what I think of Philip Glenister.

  53. Aaron says:

    That\’s an American accent? Oh.. ok..

  54. em says:

    leave him alone!!! i didn\’t have any issues with his accent, and he sure did a better job of an "American" accent than most Americans do with an "English" one!Whoever "No Name" is (comment between Aaron and Luscious) they are spot on. I know people who have lived in different countries, and their accents are weird, seeming to be from one main place, then with slight inflections to suggest they are from somewhere else.Philip Glenister rules. I only watched it because he was in it. 100% glad I did too.

  55. Pete says:

    Kind of amusing to see a Brit getting grief over his American accent after all the years that we\’ve been subjected to GODawful fake British accents from American stars. But I suppose it\’s acceptable to American audiences if a character has a basic Brit accent, right? Well it\’s the same over here.To put it bluntly: most of us couldn\’t care less which suburb of which city a character comes from. they sound vaguely American, therefore they ARE American.As for Demons, well. I watched the first episode with an open mind. The I saw MacKenzie Crook pretending to be David Bowie with a beak, and was unable to take ANYTHING in the show seriously again. I haven\’t watched it since.

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