Spinal Tap question for British dopers

OK, lots of threads have been started before on accents and who does good fake ones and who doesn’t, but I’ve never seen Spinal Tap mentioned, so I’ll ask, to those of you who are actually British, did they have good British accents? Just curious. Thanks.

In my opinion, yes, they did remarkably good accents. That’s not to say they could actually be placed somewhere exact in the UK - I don’t know quite HOW good they were, but they were certainly good enough that I thought they were all British when I first saw the film. In fact I was slightly annoyed that they weren’t.

Isn’t Chrisopher Guest actually british?

Well, IMDB lists his birthplace as NYC.

Amazingly good, a sort of generic London accent with a slightly faux-posh/middle-class edge. They’re too well spoken to be working class east enders.

What is spot on is the glottal stop dropped "T"s, that’s a London/Estuary thing. See here I’m not making this up :slight_smile:

I’d place them in a South London suburb. Didn’t David and Nigel grow up in Squatney?

S. Clanger, who grew up in sarf London schools but had to talk proper(ly) at home

The accents are spot on. Squatney it is.

(I read that Nigel Tuffnell is so called as a nod to Eric Clapton (there are parts of london called Tuffnell Park and Clapton).

To be pedantic about the spelling, it’s Nigel Tufnel, but the area of London is usually [bonzer looks out window at the sign on the Tube station to check] spelt Tufnell Park. Though there are a couple of roadsigns about the area that use other spelling, but unfortunately none that have “Tufnel Park”.
I’d guess that the name does derive from the area, though it’s in north London and pretty far from Clapton.

From E!Online:

I seem to remember that his parents lived in Canada. Not sure about him being born in New York. The above credentials make him pretty British now despite his accent.

OOOHHH OHHHH OOOOHHHH! I so have a great story.
I know a man from England. He moved to the US and has worked various jobs including a DJ.

Anyway, one night he was in a bar and he had been talking to the bartender and two guys started talking to him. They then explained that they were actors and were wanted to hear him talk to for his accent. When they found out he had worked in the music biz they really wanted to hear funny stories. For a while he worked at an alternative radio station and music store in Oklahoma. He told them about an instore appearance by U2, very early in their careers, where NOBODY came. The two guys were Harry Shearer and Michael McKean.
I don’t recall exactly what part of London my friend came from and I’m sure they did other accent work to prepare for the film but still, it’s one of my cooler stories.

His father was British (and a nobleman, as mentioned above). His mother was American, and Guest did not grow up in the UK. He doesn’t have a British accent when speaking normally, but he must be plenty familiar with how one sounds.

Judging from his performance in Best in Show, he’s also pretty good at accents. A lot of actors would have gone over the top, but Harlan Pepper sounded like men in my own family instead of some broad stereotype of a rural Southerner.

Wow, this post is going a lot better than I thought it would.

Somehow I thought that this is the kind of responce I’d get, but, since as an American, most fake British accents sound real to me, I had to make sure.

What I find fun with fake British accents is working out which ones they can do realistically, and are amalgamating into the requisite sound. And as has been pointed out in this thread, even different parts of London (or other cities, for that matter) can be distinguished by accents.

To be honest, as long as they’ve tried, I let it ride over me (yeah yeah, that sounds patronising). Life’s too short to be insulted about not-good-enough accents. Why should I care whether they really do get it right?

If they haven’t tried, and have clearly gone for a couple of weeks coaching with some guy in LA before flying out and assumed it’ll do, it shows, badly. Of course the studios rarely care, because the British market isn’t important to them - it’s a nice ephemeral extra if the film does well here, but other than that, nada.