Breaking News: The British invade American pop culture! Americans kinda like it.
Let’s see: There were the redcoats in 1776 and 1812, the Beatles in 1964, the punks in 1977 — that makes this the fifth British Invasion. Four Weddings and a Funeral‘s dimpled dollface, Hugh Grant, led the charge, but plenty of beefeaters swarmed after him. Sir Richard Attenborough gave class and heart to Miracle on 34th Street, while Yorkshire’s Patrick Stewart helped depose Leeds’ favorite son, Malcolm McDowell, in Star Trek Generations. Paul Scofield, still a man for all seasons at 72, played an American scholar trying to raise Ralph Fiennes right in Quiz Show. Despite being deprived of his fine-boned beauty on screen, Jeremy Irons scored as the silken voice of Scar in the titanic ‘toon The Lion King. Manchester’s Jane Leeves helped clean up Kelsey Grammer‘s act as the live-in caregiver on Frasier, and Sir Anthony Hopkins, playing a Michigan quack, attempted to give Matthew Broderick that get-up-and-go feeling in The Road to Wellville. Hopkins’ fellow Welshman Timothy Dalton made veddy British Joanne Whalley-Kilmer give a damn on CBS’ Scarlett miniseries. Sweetie Joanna Lumley and dahling Jennifer Saunders made Absolutely Fabulous altogether fashionable. In fact, absolutely everybody started saluting the Union Jack: Neo-grungesters Green Day, despite impeccable U.S. passports, sang hits like ”Long View” with an unmistakable Brit lilt. This year, no Yank was safe from creeping Anglophilia, wot?