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...


1. David Tennant in Dr Who


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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

Actually: from Haverfordwest, Wales.


12. Shaun Evans in Endeavour


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


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


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…