I just watched several episodes of Word on the Street, the British Council and BBC produced English language learning television show. Such a great concept for teaching British culture and language and the actors were perfectly cast. Stephen Walker and his sister Ashlie simply ARE the Word on the Street. They embody the archetypal Brits who possess great accessible personalities along with high intelligence and a terrific sense of humor.

Word on the Street seems to cover just about everything in the UK from transportation, travel and farming to Oxford, Halloween, history and going to the hospital. In other words, the program covers a wide array of daily experiences that anyone might encounter and the program gives an entertaining demonstration of the proper use of the English language to get the most enjoyment and functionality out of all of these seemingly mundane locations and occurrences.

Stephen and Ashlie are, as we mentioned earlier, perfect for these roles as typical UK citizens. They are incredibly natural in their portrayals with not a bit of self-conscious behavior between them. Perhaps it’s their backgrounds and extensive training that has enabled them to be more than a bit comfortable in front of the camera. They have both trained at the famous Actors’ Temple in London where the Meisner Technique is taught and Ashlie has a psychology degree and a diploma in cognitive therapy. She now teaches at the Actors’ Temple, also.

Besides acting, Stephen specializes in directing as well as being an acting coach. Before he became a performer he was a model and was featured in Italian Vogue and all the teen magazines as well as Wots and News Casting. Stephen obviously has a curious mind that moves him from one artistic and intellectual venture to another, so it doesn’t surprise us to find out that he was a successful dancer and film actor who, early on, was featured in the movie Kinky Boots, as Angel Boy, which was quite a hit in the United States. He also loves the stage and recently played one of the lead characters, Kane, in Never Ending Night, directed by Andy Richards at the legendary Waterloo Vaults. By the way, Ashlie, Stephen’s sister, was the Assistant Director on that stage play.

Well, it’s back to watching more Word on the Street for me. That show is just too charming to pass up. The next episode is Flathunting, in which Stephen helps Ashlie find a new flat because she’s not happy with her current one. This wonderful show proves that life CAN be exciting even if it’s only looking for another flat to live in.

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