David Hargreaves

Reflections on the reinvention of the PR industry

The Real Difference Between the UK & US: James May

Having just returned from a week in the UK and with my one year anniversary in the US approaching, I felt the urge to write a few words about some of the differences. The first is language. While I knew some of the words were different in American and English I had no idea quite how many. This article in the New York Times highlights some of the differences beautifully.

Another big difference is the media. I suspect with the globalization of the media, this will become less of a difference over time. For example did you know that the Guardian newspaper has 16 million unique users globally (May, 2007 – so very out of date) but even more impressive, nearly 6 million of the Guardian’s visitors are from the US compared with 4.4 million from Britain. I don’t want to be too harsh on the US media (given the industry I am in) but I do miss British TV and especially radio. Having said that, I love the NYT and I can still get BBC news as welJames Mayl as some of the TV programs through BBC iPlayer. Which brings me to the real point of this post.

One of THE best programs in the UK is a show called Top Gear. It is on BBC America over here and there was going to be an NBC remake of the show but that got cancelled. They decided they just couldn’t make it as good as the UK version. If you are not familiar with the show, Top Gear comprises three middle aged blokes doing either very silly things in/with cars such as creating a boat from a car and racing it across a lake or else driving supercars very quickly.

Now onto the real point of this post. The highlight of my trip to the UK last week was having a beer with James May, the coolest middle aged man on the planet, at Bite UK’s local pub while watching Man U vs Arsenal. You can’t get better than that to get reminded of the differences between the UK and the US. Warm beer, a football game and talking to the star of the Best TV Show in the UK.

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