The Belfast Protestant Kenneth Branagh once told me about how he met George Best - a fellow Belfast Prod - at some celeb bash. Branagh, at the height of his acting fame just then, walked up to the soccer player and introduced himself, explaining that as a kid growing up in Belfast he'd idolised Best.
Best stared at Branagh quizzically and asked, "So what happened to your Belfast accent?"
"I was just crushed," Branagh told me, "to find that he - my hero - thought I'd been in some way Anglocised."
George Best never lost his Irish accent, either literally or metaphorically.
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