Christopher Walken: it needs the luck of the Irish to place his accent | Rebecca Nicholson

Star’s attempt at a brogue is not the first, or the worst, by a Hollywood actor

Christopher Walken has the unfortunate honour of introducing the trailer for the new film Wild Mountain Thyme, in a voiceover in which, playing an Irishman, he says: “Welcome to Ireland.”

It was enough to send social media into a spin, sure it was, as it tried to wrangle the accents away from the non-Irish actors (and Jamie Dornan) who were mangling them. These accents have wandered so far that it’s a wonder they found Ireland at all. Dublin airport tweeted about the clip and called for “the accent police”, while Dublin’s National Leprechaun Museum quipped: “Even we think this is a bit much.”

I have just finished the French and Saunders podcast, Titting About, which came to an end with the duo spending most of an episode talking about the films and series they would have parodied were they still making sketch shows on TV. Truly, audiences are missing out on their versions of Fleabag, Killing Eve and The Favourite. It reminded me that once you start to see things through that spoofy lens, it’s hard to see anything without it. I imagined Dawn French as Emily Blunt as Rosemary Muldoon in Wild Mountain Thyme, riding a horse over emerald green fields, muttering about farms and gates. At the risk of sounding contrary, I do have a soft spot for a wobbly accent. They can, sometimes, enhance the viewing experience in unexpected ways.

In the case of Wild Mountain Thyme, which isn’t even out yet, they have brought the com to the rom; if you’re paying to see a romantic comedy, then you know you’re getting at least 50% of what has been promised. I found that the British (with the emphasis on -ish) accents that peppered The Haunting of Bly Manor gave it an added lift. I spent most of the series with my hands either over my eyes or my ears – my eyes for the creepy moments, because I don’t know why I thought watching a series about ghosts was a good idea after The Haunting of Hill House suggested otherwise; and my ears for the pip-pip Englishness. Then there is Peaky Blinders, which has perfected the art of “and they lived somewhere else for a while” excuse for the shakier attempts at a Brummie twang.

In its defence, Wild Mountain Thyme doesn’t sound as bad as Tom Cruise’s infamous Far and Awaybrogue” and it has Jon Hamm in it, playing the requisite American, who chips in with: “I don’t understand you people.” He is, apparently, not the only one. At least I think Hamm is playing an American. For all we know, he could be from Fermoy.

Lily Collins: Paris braces for Emily, part deux

French farce: Lily Collins in Emily in Paris.
French farce: Lily Collins in Emily in Paris. Photograph: Stephanie Branchu/AP

Lily Collins tweeted news last week that the hilariously Breton-shirted and baguette-ey Netflix show in which she stars, Emily in Paris, has been renewed for a second season. “Deux is better than un,” she wrote, with a clip of the cast celebrating its return.

It is no surprise that it’s coming back – it must be one of the most talked-about shows of the year. In my infinite critical wisdom, I gave it one star when I reviewed it and wondered if it might have been one of the least charming shows I had ever seen. Naturally, it has been an enormous hit.

I can see why. Context is everything. It’s the kind of show that revels in being crass and its cartoonishness is a lot more enjoyable when you’re watching it with lots of other people to groan at all the French cliches it throws up in the air with seemingly no thought as to where they might land.

Personally, I’d rather sit on a broken-down Eurostar for 10 hours than watch it again, but I can accept that I am in the humourless minority and I do recognise that I’m missing out on all the fun.

Jon Rahm: spreading joy with a magical hole in one

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm: that’s the way to do it. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The notion of “having a good week” is a little stretched out of shape at the moment, but it is fair to say that golfer Jon Rahm had a good week.

On his 26th birthday, at a Masters practice session, Rahm hit his second hole in one in as many days, a shot that has been called “ridiculous”, “unreal” and “the most insane hole in one of all time”.

I have watched the clip over and over again, with far more enthusiasm than I have ever watched golf before, I think it is fair to say. It is as perfect as I imagine golf gets.

For 20 seconds, the ball skips over water like a skimmed stone, casually bends around the green, then slowly rolls into the hole, as if it was always meant to be there. If a golf ball could saunter with its hands in its pockets, then this would be it.

Afterwards, Rahm raises his arms and offers high-fives all round, laughing. How else could he react to that, except to laugh? It looked as though it should not have been possible.

I had a similar feeling reading about another very different achievement, when Emily Harrington became the fourth woman to climb 3,000ft-high El Capitan in Yosemite national park and the first to ascend the Golden Gate route in under 24 hours.

On Instagram, Harrington posted pictures of herself conquering what she refers to as “such a large piece of stone”. They are dizzying images, even for those without vertigo.

Again, it looks like it should not have been possible, but she made it to the top, in darkness. Human beings can be remarkable.

• Rebecca Nicholson is an Observer columnist


Rebecca Nicholson

The GuardianTramp

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