A linguiest has warned Girls Aloud babe Cheryl Cole against changing her accent in order to create a career in America.
The 25 year old Geordie is set to start elocution lessons after Simon Cowell advised her she wouldn’t crack America with her current accent. The TV mogul has even booked her in with a top Hollywood voice coach.
He has said that Cheryl will need to soften her accent to become a TV star in the US. He fears that American audiences would be confused by The X Factor Judge’s voice. Some fans of British shows on BBC America have admitted to needing sub-titles in order to understand northern stars like Robson Green and Ant & Dec.
But experts have said that Cheryl’s accent was part of her appeal, and that changing the way she speaks for commercial reasons would harm her pristine image in the UK.
Joan Beal, professor of English language at University of Sheffield, said Cheryl, of Heaton, Newcastle, should be careful she does not lose her identity.
She told The Sunday Sun in Newcastle: “In the UK, the Geordie accent is viewed very positively and studies of accents consistently show that it is considered friendly, honest, and generally attractive.
“The USA is notoriously insular. We know that a very large percentage of Americans don’t own a passport, so they are not aware of the range of accents in the UK.
“There are lots of voice coaches who claim to be able to soften regional accents, and I’m sure Cheryl would have access to reputable ones who’ve worked successfully with actors.“
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