Introducing our British secret weapon…Jackie!

So what does an Anglophile with a severe addiction to watching British TV do? Well, she goes out and finds a British friend, obvs. I’d like to introduce you to my British friend Jackie, who blogs about books at Farm Lane Books, and who is one of my very favorite people to chat TV programmes with.

Jackie will also function as our British “secret weapon,” of sorts (you know, in a totally nonviolent way), in that she has kindly agreed to give us some Brit insight, not only into TV, but into broader British culture. I’ve got a great case in point: I wanted her segments on this blog to have kind of a running title, so I asked her if they could be called “Our Jackie says…” I’m a huge fan of the series Keeping Up Appearances, and I love the way the four sisters in that are always referring to each other as “our”–“Was that our Hyacinth?” “Who’s calling our Rose?” And here is how Jackie answered that idea:

“…’Our’ is a regional dialect term, mainly used in Liverpool, but I think it might be found in a few other places in Northern England. As I’m not from Liverpool it would feel really weird being addressed as ‘Our Jackie.'”

Now THAT is awesome. How would I have known that without my Secret Weapon?

In addition to learning about regional phrases and their uses, Jackie and I have also been chatting about the crime series Happy Valley. After watching the first series, and seeing the cop main character, Catherine Cawood, take several beatings, here is one of the main questions I had for Jackie about that show:

“Don’t any of your cops carry guns? Catherine took a beating without pulling one, the poor thing, so I’m assuming she just wasn’t carrying one. In general do you see many guns on your TV?”

And here is Jackie’s answer:

“The police over here don’t generally carry guns. Up until a few years ago it was very rare to see one as they were only carried by elite gun forces, called out in special circumstances. In the past few years the increased risk of terrorism has meant that armed officers might attend major public events – especially those involving royalty. But the sight of a gun is more likely to scare me, rather than reassure me. I tend to avoid anywhere that has armed police, as it tends to indicate there has been a specific threat.

Happy Valley is set in a rural area so it would be very unusual to see a gun there. They would probably use Tasers or pepper spray to defend themselves.”

And there you have it. Thanks and welcome to Jackie!

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