Gazette:News:British humour lost in translation

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La Gazette

Lost in translation: British TV goes abroad

'Shameless' and 'Little Britain' are going to America, 'Life on Mars' to Spain and 'The Office' to Russia. But British humour doesn't always travel well. Alice Jones reports

The news that Russian television executives are on the look-out for a David Brentski of their own to star in their remake of The Office is just the latest in a recent line of mind-bogglingly unlikely makeovers for British television hits abroad. Only last week, Matt Lucas and David Walliams unveiled the new characters who will be spouting catchphrases (and, no doubt, bodily fluids) in the US version of their quintessentially British sketch show, Little Britain USA. And Paul Abbott is currently holed up writing an American version of his Manchester sink-estate comedy Shameless. According to early reports, in what may be the most audacious piece of transatlantic casting yet, its hero, Frank Gallagher, the "greasy streak of alcoholic piss" originally embodied by a lank-haired, snaggle-toothed David Threlfall, will be played by that all-American, tanned, bleached-smiling beacon of teetotal, organic living, Woody Harrelson.

The Independant



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