Saturday, April 27, 2002
I used to have an English accent. These days I have a transatlantic accent, of the kind that the Americans think is probably English, the English think is probably American, and the Australians and New Zealanders know is neither an Australian nor a New Zealand accent.

If you want to hear what that sort of accent sounds like, you can listen to the HarperCollins complete and unabridged version of Coraline on audio, coming out in late May -- May 18th, I believe. (And read by me.)

The only person who will have real problems listening to it is me. Hearing my stuff in audio is a bit like listening to a message on a telephone answering machine I left for someone else -- I wind up stabbing for the delete or skip button in embarrassment.

Which meant I wanted a Coraline that I could listen to, so when talking to Bloomsbury, the UK Coraline publishers, who wanted an English accent, and a female one at that, I suggested someone who I thought would be, in every way, perfect for it -- able to cope with the accents, with the humour, with the stuff that's too scary to be humour, with everything in there.

I had a number one choice, last seen (by me) playing Bottom on the West End stage, and didn't have a number two or a number three choice.

Bloomsbury asked the number one choice, and she said yes, and has recorded the UK unabridged audio book. Which is something that I am looking forward to hearing no end...

...Coraline read by Miss Dawn French. Half of French and Saunders (the curvier half) and doer of much else besides.

Is that cool or what?