Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Brits who didn’t translate in the US

1.jpg
rob2.jpg
rob1.jpg

Between The Inbetweeners, Spaced and The IT Crowd, the list of British exports to fail in America is as long as it is maddening.

And it doesn’t end with sitcoms, either, as Piers Morgan's recent departure from his flagship CNN show verifies. With this news fresh in mind, and to salute those triers before him, we've picked a few examples of when home-grown talent crossed the Atlantic but didn't quite cut the mustard.

____________________________________________________________

Piers Morgan

One rule worth remembering when trying to win over Americans: don’t refute their right to bear arms. Indeed, during his tenure on CNN, Morgan became a one-man PR machine for gun control in the wake of subsequent national shooting tragedies, making his anti-weapons rhetoric a regular topic on the show whenever he wasn't massaging the egos of Hollywood stars. And while an admirable cause, Middle America was never going to warm to him.



____________________________________________________________

Ant and Dec

“Why does he always stand on the left, and he on the right”, probably uttered by many confused households as the British duo fronted new game show Wanna Bet? in 2008. A ratings dud, it was shelved after six episodes, with US audiences never really understanding the brilliance of the Geordie double act - something confirmed by this tumbleweed-strewn footage of the pair plugging their series on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show.



____________________________________________________________

Michelle Ryan

When US TV execs announced a big budget reboot of The Bionic Woman in 2007, few would have expected former EastEnder Michelle Ryan to be handed the lead role as Jaime Sommers. Clearly more used to trading punches in Walford than Hollywood, the role never felt right; and sure, while the blame for the series’ demise after a paltry eight episodes can’t be laid entirely on Ryan, what with the writers’ strike putting a dampener on proceedings during filming, she’s barely made a splash across the pond since.



____________________________________________________________

Jeremy Kyle

“Jeremy was amazing and showed all of us why he is such a rock star in the UK,” read the network press release which broke the news that Jeremy Kyle’s transitory US talk show had been axed after two seasons in 2013, and roundly patronising a man whose acidic brand of fulminating toward undomesticated teen mothers and love cheats alike should surely have translated in a country already known for daytime TV dust-ups. The ratings, on the other hand, suggested otherwise.



____________________________________________________________

Robbie Williams

Poor Robbie has become shorthand for European pop not translating well in the US. Not that he hasn't given it a go - following on from Take That’s own US snubbing (despite 40m album sales worldwide), the former boy band singer turned solo star has plotted numerous campaigns to crack the States, even racking up appearances on major TV shows and releasing a special ‘best of’ album entitled The Ego Has Landed to help his most fruitless of causes. The ego was bruised.



____________________________________________________________

Vernon Kay

We like Vernon Kay. Who doesn't? With teeth whiter than the Moon, and a hairstyle worthy of Beverly Hills 90210, he should have been the ultimate US TV host. sadly, however, his work on Skating With The Stars, critically panned and now no more, was utterly forgettable. His Lancashire accent and over-the-top gestures made it feel more Peter Kay: Top Of The Tower than the "Hollywood" he loudly announced viewers were entering.



____________________________________________________________

Steve Jones

Another T4 alumnus here and yet another ill-fated attempt to break the US, as Jones, handpicked by Simon Cowell to present America’s version of The X Factor USA, left shortly after its first season. Still, at least he managed longer than judge Cheryl Cole, who conversely lasted less than an episode being replaced at the 11th hour when producers feared the audience wouldn’t understand her accent.



____________________________________________________________

(Images: YouTube, Rex)

Related

movie-to-tv.png

7 more movie stars heading to TV

duckman-56-duckman-and-cornfed-in-haunted-society-plumbers-youtube-3.jpg

Brilliant And Bizarre TV Crossovers

fargo-tv.jpg

8 upcoming tv shows based on movies

hero1.jpg

20 Weirdest Local TV Adverts

trainspottinghero3.jpg

EXCLUSIVE: Irvine Welsh Considering Trainspotting TV Series

hero1.jpg

DiCaprio To Produce Q-Tip TV Series

Comments

More

Westworld producers discuss the big questions from season one's finale

It's also been revealed the HBO show won’t be returning until 2018

by Joe Ellison
06 Dec 2016

What The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air taught us about race, sex and family

More than just funny, more than just black, Fresh Prince was important.

06 Dec 2016

The greatest Christmas movies & specials available on Netflix

Binge watching these with a box of Lindor is the true meaning of Christmas

by Jamie Carson
05 Dec 2016

We imagine what the future held for all your favourite sitcom couples

Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.

by Sam Diss
02 Dec 2016

Google Translate describing The Simpsons characters is just lovely

Strangle the son of Bart's neck is annual

by Emily Badiozzaman
01 Dec 2016

Elijah Wood: "Finding Nigerian records is quite difficult"

ShortList chat DJing, Daniel Radcliffe and detectives with Elijah Wood

by Ralph Jones
01 Dec 2016

More young people are watching Planet Earth II than X Factor

Faith in humanity almost restored

by Tom Fordy
01 Dec 2016

Planet Earth crew left devastated after witnessing 150,00 antelope die

Many of the Beeb's production team were left devestated

by Emily Badiozzaman
29 Nov 2016

The first teaser for Game Of Thrones season 7 is here

The Starks are coming

by Emily Badiozzaman
29 Nov 2016

Rapper-turned-foodie Action Bronson tells us how to unlock happiness

“My beard just happens to grow naturally gorgeous”

by Chris Mandle
16 Nov 2016