Orphan Black and the worst cockney accents of all time

From Don Cheadle's "Leave it aaaat" to Dick Van Dyke's Chim Chim Cher-oooh dear, we point the finger at the actors butchering the East End twang

Orphan Black – Canada’s slick new sci-fi thriller – ticks a lot of boxes. A decent premise (down on her luck Sarah discovers she’s a clone), a talented cast and a ready audience who lapped up the drama when it premiered across the pond earlier this year. But there’s this one thing – ok, it’s rather a big thing – that you just can’t ignore as you watch. Sarah is a cockney orphan. Actress Tatiana Maslany is Canadian – and, trust us, this is a turkey of an accent… 

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Pretty dreadful, eh? So it got us thinking – ok, reminiscing – about the likes of Dick Van Dyke and Don Cheadle. Those actors who did away with any semblence of apples and pears. Are we talkin’ cobblers? Read on and see what you think…

Charlie Hunnam in Green Street

Long before he was the new Mr Fifty Shades, Newcastle-born Charlie played Pete Dunham in hooligan flick Green Street. Somehow – and we’re not really sure how – he managed to add an Australian twang to his cockney drawl. The expletive-ridden result isn’t exactly easy on the ears as he asks Elijah Wood’s Matt to “give me aaarf the money”… 

Don Cheadle in Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve AND Thirteen 

You’re cast opposite Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon in one of the 21st century’s most successful franchises. Career win, right? Not if you’re Don Cheadle… The American actor was handed a critical mauling for his stab at a cockney accent playing explosives expert Basher Tarr. Although, it certainly did his career no harm – three years later and he was picking up an Oscar-nomination for his portrayal of hotelier Paul Rusesabagina in Hotel Rwanda. He must have worked a hell of a lot harder on that accent…

Colin Farrell in Cassandra’s Dream

Oh, Colin. We like you – really, we do but you’re from our side of the pond. We expected more from you. Your Cassandra’s Dream co-star Ewan McGregor’s cockney may not have been too chipper but Colin, “you’re in real trouble ‘ere”…  

Denzel Washington in For Queen and Country 

We bet Denzel Washington was hoping this would stay buried, but here he is “duttin’ and divin'” playing former paratrooper Reuben James in 1989 thriller For Queen and Country. Remarkably, it was the same year he won his first Academy Award for Glory. “It’s good enough for me”, you say, Denzel? Well, it ain’t for us… 

Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins

It would take a fool to do a cockney catastrophe rundown without mentioning this man, but don’t worry, we saved the best till last. Oh Dick, what they did to you here was just cruel. Not only did they allow you to murder that accent, but they got you singing a tongue twister, too. Chim Chim Cher-oooh dear.

Here’s another for good measure… 


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