‘Brit List’ hostess Asha Leo dishes on which British saying is her favorite, who’s her favorite Royal, and professes that she could give The Stig a run for his money on the “Top Gear” test track. Read on to get to know BBC America’s resident pop culture correspondent and catch her latest tweets @AshaLeo.
What BBC America character are you and why?
If I had to pick, I would like to be Edina from “Absolutely Fabulous”! What girl doesn’t want an endless supply of couture clothes and lots of ‘bolly’ to boot! My favorite quote from Edina is, “I mean what you two don’t seem to realize is that inside of me, inside of me, there is a thin person just screaming to get out.” And Mother says, “Just the one, dear?”
Would you rather take a ride in the TARDIS or around the “Top Gear” test track?
One-hundred percent the “Top Gear” track! I’m a little speed demon when I get behind the wheel of a car. I’m pretty confident I could show The Stig a thing or two!
Do you have a favorite British saying? If so, what is it and why do you like it?
Oooooh! Now this IS a hard one to answer, as there’s just soooo many wonderful sayings that I miss from the UK! I think what I love about them most is the fact that we ALL say them and yet they don’t often make sense!
Two of my favorites have to be “You could talk the hind legs off a donkey,” something that I get told more often than I’d like to admit. Meaning simply, you talk a lot! And also “Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” which means don’t get so worked up or stressed.
Do you have a favorite British food dish? If so, which one is it and why do you love it?
Despite the common misconception that British food sucks, I for one LOVE some good ol’ pub grub! Being half Indian, i think it’s fascinating that Chicken Tikka Masala is the UK No. 1 dish! However for me, it’s a toss up between a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings and a nice plump Yorkshire pudding OR a nice fried English breakfast with lashings of ketchup and a cup of PG Tips tea… I’m salivating at the thought! Yum!
Who is your favorite member of the Royal Family and why?
My favorite Royal has to be Prince Harry, as he definitely has the reputation for being the wild child of the family! Although as much as he likes to party, he is very philanthropic and doesn’t abandon his royal duties. He is dedicated to carrying on Diana’s legacy. In fact, he founded a charity with another prince who also lost his mother. What I love most about young “Hazza” is how close he is with his brother, William.
What makes you most proud to be British?
Ok, it sounds like I’m sucking up, but what makes me most proud to be British is The BBC! Come on, for $227-$233 (£148-£151.50) a year, it’s a bargain if you ask me! What other country has such a remarkable media source and contribution to the arts? Offering diverse entertainment, sport and information through the radio and TV channels as well as the Internet site. It’s a world renowned organization respected worldwide. And I get to be a part of it… Yipee!
When you’re traveling, what do you miss the most about Britain?
It’s funny what you take for granted, but having left the UK a few years ago to set up camp in America, the one thing that I miss the most about the UK is our wicked sense of humor! And I mean “wicked” in the British sense. It’s dry, self-deprecating, witty, and highly sarcastic manner! There’s nothing quite like it any where in the world. As Bill Bailey says about the UK “Sixty percent of our days are overcast, imbuing the nation with a sense of wistful melancholy.” The British sense of humor is very distinctive and something to be proud of!
Beatles or Stones?
I would have to say The Rolling Stones! The Stones were a wave of pure energy and embody rock to their core. They just had a better style to me. Plus, they have Mick Jagger! As rock icons go, you can not get better than him.
Blur or Oasis?
Perhaps I’m not the right person to answer the debate between Blur and Oasis, simply because when most people were moshing out to their rock music, I had sculpted myself into the ultimate SPICE GIRL! Yes yes, I knew all the words [to their songs], had several costumes to match and practiced almost every dance move. Girl Power!
Who’s your favorite James Bond and why?
In my eyes, there is only one Bond: Sean Connery. The man oozed the charm and charisma that was the epitome of James Bond. As comfortable in a dinner jacket as he was a wet suit, I would happily get lost with this 007 for hours. Swoon!
Do you have a favorite British fashion designer?
Britain is responsible for a whole flock of creative designers but my favorite has to be Vivienne Westwood. She typifies the British rebel artist. She’s been around for decades without losing her relevancy. Ms. Westwood is daring and original and never holds back!
Which British actor and actress do you most admire and why?
Dame Helen Mirren, not only because she’s a phenomenal actress, as demonstrated in “The Queen,” but because at the age of 66, she can still admirably rock a bikini! She was voted “Body of the Year,” beating Elle “The Body” Macpherson, Cheryl Cole and Kelly Brook to the enviable title. What a role model!
And Sir Anthony Hopkins, he is a household name in both Britain and America with an endless string of blockbuster hits on his resume. I also particularly love him as he’s Welsh, like me! Gotta support the Welshies!