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Page last updated at 12:48 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 13:48 UK

Your American accents

Michelle Ryan

Yesterday, the Magazine asked readers to call us with their best American accents, in response to a feature by the BBC's Stephen Robb, who took a lesson from one of the movie industry's top accent coaches.

Exposure to US films and television has long been a spur for British folk to have a go at imitating stars of the screen - both big and small.

But there's more to pulling off a convincing American accent than affecting a Robert De Niro-style burr and inquiring forcefully of any passing soul whether "you talking to me?"

It's a lesson Michelle Ryan (above) has had to learn the hard way - the British star of the Bionic Woman topped a poll of worst US accents by British actors earlier this year.

Comic Eddie Izzard was voted second worst for his inflection in The Riches, and Anna Friel, of Pushing Daisies fame, was third. Even Hugh Laurie, whose American accent in the show House was voted best, didn't get off unscathed - his accent was also voted fourth worst.

So could readers of the BBC News website do any better? In response to our feature, plenty of readers - from linguists to lyricists to voice over artists - rang in with their US rendition of "Lucky Lily likes to Live in Louisiana".

We called a selection back to hear them talk about their usual accent - and then give us their best American accent.

You can listen to them by clicking on the audio panel above, right.

But of course, there is no single, generic US accent. So also here, is professional British voice-over artist Stuart Smith, offering some regional variations for the line "Lucky Lily likes to Live in Louisiana".

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