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Denise Van Outen ordered to get Joss Stoned

Lose the Brit accent, say US TV bosses

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US TV bosses have instructed Denise Van Outen to do a Joss Stone and lose her Brit accent - because audiences over the pond have not warmed to her chirpy Essex twang.

Van Outen, 32, was signed to present Grease, "a reality show which is aiming to find a new cast to play the characters from the hit Seventies movie", the Evening Standard notes. Sadly, the Basildon girl has suffered a slight speech impediment in that Yanks don't understand her accent.

A source told the Standard: "The producers thought Denise would be immensely popular with the American public, but unfortunately, it hasn't worked out. She is a very attractive girl and has years and years of television experience. That, along with her English accent, meant that she should have been a hit in the States... but they aren't keen on her voice.

"She has made her career over here on the fact she is a down-to-earth Essex girl, but they just don't get it in America. They are not keen on her demeanour either."

Accordingly, she's been downgraded from main presenter to "roving reporter" and sent off for some Eliza Doolittle-style therapy. Poor old Denise described Los Angeles as "really unforgiving place", adding: "I will not lie - it has been hard. I went out there on my own. I felt really, really out of place. I didn't know anyone. I didn't understand the city."

Bless. The old timers among you may remember the kerfuffle over UK gangster classic The Long Good Friday, which the American distributors apparently wanted to dub because nobody over there understood a bleedin' word of what was going on. Mercifully, good sense prevailed, preventing what Harold Shand would doubtless have called a "diabolical liberty". ®

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