It seems the Chinese authorities were wise to be concerned about the rise of Peppa Pig, as reports have surfaced of American poppets adopting the squeaky English accent of the petite cartoon porker.
British parents, weary of their kids adopting faux American accents after viewing the tsunami of entertainment from the other side of the pond, will be delighted to see the roles reversed for a change.
Peppa Pig, for those fortunate enough to have avoided the cartoon, is an ageless talking pig-child who lives in a world populated by talking mammals. The squeaking of the creature and associated theme tune is usually enough to kick off an involuntary twitch in a parent’s eyelid while also assuring a few minutes of peace as offspring are transfixed.
The phenomenon is nothing new. Judging from folk on Twitter and the parent blogger types, pre-schoolers around the world have developed clipped British accents after being sat in front of the TV, watching non-localised versions of the cartoon for hours at a time. A simple way to cure the problem is to, er, watch a bit less of the Pig.
American parents should take care, though. While the accent is one thing, some readings of the cartoon are quite another. Daddy Pig, for example, ends up being the butt of many of the series' jokes and, we suspect, hides a pit of darkness and despair beneath his cheery exterior. We are nervously awaiting the episode where Pig Senior turns the bacon slicer on Mummy Pig and her terrible parents and Peppa finally learns where ham comes from.
Or maybe we're reading a bit too much into it all.
And don't get us started on the sociopolitical messages behind the follow-up, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom.
Other notable British influences on American life include Doctor Who, regarded as cult classic by BBC America viewers. US Democrat Stacey Abrams – a candidate in last year's race for governor of the state of Georgia – admitted she'd watched a bunch of old episodes of the British science fiction series to relax before delivering the response to the US President’s State of the Union address of last week.
She later took to Twitter to correctly identify the best Doctor.
I’ve liked all of the newest regenerations since its return (some more than others), but Tom Baker remains the one Doctor to rule them all. https://t.co/S9BJlf3BF9— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) February 8, 2019
One can but hope that this British influence does not lead to a wall erected in the US to divide those who pronounce "scone" correctly and apply jam and clotted cream in the proper order and those who don't. ®