Britain fumes after singer 'sacked from US show over accent'
Britain fumed Friday after pop star Cheryl Cole was dropped from the US version of "The X Factor" TV talent show because American audiences cannot understand her accent.
Cole, a major celebrity in Britain, appears to have been discarded from the show less than a month after arriving in the United States, and well before it hits US TV screens in September.
There was no official confirmation from the show's host television network, Fox, but a "close friend" told The Sun tabloid that she was "shocked and stunned" and she "never saw it coming".
Cole is from Newcastle in northeast England, which has one of the country's strongest accents, and has admitted in the past that some Americans took time to adapt to her Geordie brogue.
"I've got a lot of American friends and we have the odd moments where they're like, 'What? What did that mean?' -- you know, a phrase," she said. "But I'm proud of my accent."
Cole, 27, had a string of platinum-selling hits and was a judge on the British version of "The X Factor" before British TV mogul Simon Cowell offered her a chance to be a judge on the new US version, alongside singer Paula Abdul.
British newspapers, with tongue firmly tucked in cheek, said the timing of the snub was ironic because it came just days after US President Barack Obama reaffirmed the importance of the US-British 'special relationship'.
The Times even produced an entire editorial written in phonetic 'Geordie', including the line: "They sez they couldn't understand what Ah wez saying. Darlings, Ah can hardly understand what I'm saying mesel horf the time."
Cole was formerly married to Chelsea and England footballer Ashley Cole, but the couple split up last year.
© 2011 AFP