You’ve seen them on the telly in your favourite series, or on the big screen in the movies. More importantly, you’ve heard them. So it's a big shock when you discover that’s not how they really sound? Actors doing accents! Hold the phonetics...

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1. David Tennant in Dr Who

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David Tennant speaks with a somewhat cheeky Saarf Landan accent as the enigmatic time-travelling Doctor.

Actually: from Bathgate, West Lothian. And he’s getting more Scottish with each series of Broadchurch…

 

2. Charlie Hunnam in Sons of Anarchy

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Charlie Hunnam speaks with a laid-back Californian accent as bad boy biker Jax Teller, who hails from the fictional town of Charming.

Actually: from Newcastle upon Tyne. Haddaway, man!

 

3 and 4. Kit Harrington and Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones

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Kit Harington speaks in Northern-via-Sheffield accent as Jon Snow. It’s said that this is because his screen dad – Sheffielder Sean Bean – declined to do a different accent.

Actually: from Acton, London.

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Peter Dinklage speaks with with a posh BBC-newsreader English accent as the witty and inscrutable Tyrion Lannister.

Actually: from New Jersey, US.

 

5. Colin Morgan in Merlin

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Colin Morgan speaks with a perky, mid-England accent as the young magician.

Actually: from Armagh, N Ireland, Colin reveals that when his brother joined him in the UK for a visit some folk actually thought the pair was speaking a different language.

 

6 and 7. Idris Elba and Dominic West in The Wire

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Idris Elba speaks in a US accent as druglord Russell Bell.

Actually: from ’Ackney, north east London and says it took three years to get his US accent right.

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Dominic West speaks with a convincing Baltimore accent as wise-cracking detective Jimmy McNulty.

Actually: from Sheffield but this Eton boy has a polished, public-school accent.

 

8. Pam St Clement in EastEnders

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Pam St Clement as Pat Butcher speaks with – surprise! – an East End accent!

Actually: from Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex and proper posh, darling!

 

9. Timothy Spall in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet

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Timothy Spall has a strong Black Country accent as Barry in this early 80s series about seven unemployed blokes who head to Germany for work. Bostin’!

Actually: a Battersea boy.

 

10. Hugh Laurie in House


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Hugh Laurie as Dr Gregory House speaks with an impeccable US accent. And if you were American you, too, would be amazed to learn he was a Brit.

Actually: from Oxford.

 

11. Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Trilogy

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Christian Bale speaks with a growly US ‘Gotham City’ accent as DC Comics character Batman.

Actually: from Haverfordwest, Wales.

 

12. Shaun Evans in Endeavour

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Shaun Evans plays the young Morse, detective-about-Oxford-town, and has a faintly Cocknified-posh accent.

Actually: from Liverpool and has a startling strong Liverpudlian inflection.

 

13 Andrew Garfield in Spider-Man

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Andrew Garfield speaks with a New York accent, having been raised there by his aunt and uncle following his parents’ death.

Actually: Born in Los Angeles but raised in leafy Epsom, Surrey.

 

14. Stephen Moyer in True Blood


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Stephen Moyer plays sexy vampire Bill from Bon Temps, Louisiana, and has the most down-home, beans-and-cornbread, deep South accent ever.

Actually: from Brentwood, Essex. Well, that’s South of sorts…