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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Dan Haygarth

The best, worst and strangest Scouse accents we've heard in films and TV shows

Every Liverpudlian has endured some pretty terrible Scouse impressions from non-natives.

Despite what most people seem to think, replicating the accent can be rather difficult. So much so that it has tripped up many actors over the years.

However, Martin Freeman has won praise for his impressive Scouse accent in BBC crime drama 'The Responder', which will hit screens on January 24.

READ MORE: Trailer released for new BBC police drama set in Liverpool starring Martin Freeman

The series was written by Tony Scumacher, who was a Merseyside Police officer until 2006, and was filmed in Everton, St Helens and Wirral.

The trailer, which was released last year, revealed Freeman's exceptional accent, which puts most attempts at Scouse to shame.

In light of the show's impending release and Freeman's impressive work, we've looked at some of the best, worst and strangest attempts at Scouse accents committed to film and TV by non-Scouse actors

Julie Walters - Educating Rita

Birmingham-born Julie Walters won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Oscar for playing Susan 'Rita' White in this adaptation of Willy Russell’s 1980 play.

Director Lewis Gilbert was told by the studio behind the 1983 hit to cast Dolly Parton as his female lead, but he chose to cast Walters, who had played the part in the original stage production.

It was Walters' feature film debut and she won rave reviews for her performance.

Though it wavers occasionally, she nails the Scouse accent mostly - something that she could thank her early days at the Everyman for.

Amy De Bhrún - Line of Duty

Amy De Bhrúnplayed the character Steph Corbett (BBC)

Irish actress Amy De Bhrún's Scouse accent in the hit BBC drama led fans to wonder why someone from Merseyside wasn't cast in the role.

Viewers described it as the worst Scouse accent they had ever heard, taking them out of the drama.

The decision not to cast someone who could provide an authentic Scouse accent was made all the stranger by the fact Stephen Graham had appeared in the show's fifth series, playing John Corbett - the husband of De Bhrún's character.

Robert Carlyle - Cracker, The 51st State and Yesterday

Glaswegian Robert Carlyle has had three cracks at the Scouse accent across his career.

The first came in his breakout role - the ITV crime drama Cracker, written by Liverpudlian Jimmy McGovern. Carlyle's performance was widely acclaimed and his accent was not bad at all.

His accent in 2001 action comedy 'The 51'st State', which was filmed and set in Liverpool, is not quite as strong, often wobbling around the North West and missing its intended target.

Carlyle also appeared in a cameo at the end of Danny Boyle's 'Yesterday', which imagined a world without The Beatles.

It's not a bad attempt and gets some words spot on, but it doesn't sound much like its intended figure - no spoilers here.

Aaron Taylor Johnson - Nowhere Boy

Taking on the role of John Lennon is a lot of pressure for any young actor. However, Buckinghamshire-born Aaron Taylor Johnson met the challenge.

He is more than believable as the ambitious and troublesome young Lennon, while his attempt at a 1950s Liverpool accent is not bad at all.

Matt Ryan - Constantine

DC comic book character John Constantine is a Liverpool-born detective who searches for supernatural beings.

After debuting in the comics in 1985, he has appeared in several film and TV adaptations. Keanu Reeves played the character in a 2005 film, but used his natural accent rather than attempting a Liverpool lilt.

The character has also featured in a number of TV series in the 'Arrowverse' franchise, played by Swansea-born actor Matt Ryan.

Ryan appears to attempt Constantine's Liverpool accent but it lands some way from the mark.

Occasionally it sounds like the character could be from somewhere in the North West. However, the more Ryan attempts to sound Scouse - rolling over certain letters and lifting his intonation - the more Welsh he sounds.

Ben Kingsley - Marvel Cinematic Universe

Ben Kingsley's character Trevor Slattery first appeared in 2013's Iron Man Three.

The character - an actor who gets caught up in a terrorist plot - was revealed as a Liverpool FC fan, while the 2014 short film 'All Hail the King' featured this very newspaper.

In the short, a photo of a young Trevor and his mother outside Liverpool's Royal Court theatre was said to be "found in the vaults of an English newspaper called The Liverpool ECHO”, suggesting that Trevor grew up in this very city.

You might not have guessed it from Ben Kingsley's accent, which bounces all over the place across his first two appearances.

However, the next Slattery appearance - 2021's 'Shang-Chi' saw Kingsley return to the Marvel universe with a modified accent, which does at times sound rather Scouse. More so than his previous attempts anyway.

Tom Hanks

The Graham Norton Show has form for Scouse impressions.

In one episode Jimmy Carr attempted to teach Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas how to speak like Liverpudlians. It was about as stereotypical as you might think.

However, Tom Hanks revealed on a later episode of the chat show that he had an teacher who was well-versed in the Liverpool accent.

Appearing alongside Stephen Graham on the chat show, Hanks said that the Kirkby-born actor had attempted to teach him the Scouse accent when they worked together on the 2020 film ‘Greyhound’.

Hanks' humorous attempt to imitate Graham is quite something and far from comprehensible. I'm not sure that we'll be seeing him play a Liverpudlian any time soon.

For more stories from where you live, visit InYourArea.

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