An Australian exchange student who’s just moved to Manchester has been documenting his voyage of discovery with British culture on TikTok, including his first trips to Wetherspoons, Greggs, and even Tesco.
Sebastien Butler has been vlogging his move to the UK on social media for the last few weeks, visiting some places that will be pretty familiar to a lot of us Mancs.
But until we viewed them through his young Aussie eyes, we didn’t realise how weird a lot of British staples actually are.
In his video series, Sebastien has partied in some local nightlife spots, been perplexed by our crisp packet colours (salt and vinegar should be pink, apparently), and been alarmed by the ‘very big, kinda scary’ geese.
Sebastien has visited some local student nightlife institutions already in his short time here. He’s checked off Factory, Courtyard (Corona on tap? ‘That’s sick’), and student bar Squirrel’s (‘drinks here are so f*cking cheap’).
There’s also been SEVERAL trips to Wetherspoons, including The Paramount on Oxford Street, where he deemed the chicken wings ‘actually alright’ and was stunned to find you can order drinks to your table.
A trip to Walkabout left him – rightfully – upset that the only ‘Aussie’ beer on tap was Fosters.
In fact, alcohol and the price of it seems to be the recurring thing throughout his TikTok series.
“It’s f*cked, it’s so cheap here. What are we doing in Australia?” he asked in one video.
Sebastien also said: “A lot of you guys in the UK think Australia have like a f*cked drinking culture, but I reckon you guys drink a lot more than us. And a lot more consistently. It’s fun though.
“I just feel like in Australia because alcohol is more expensive, people go out drinking like twice a week and that’s about it, but here it’s like most nights you can do something if you want to.”
Sebastien has made us realise how weird it is that we have slot machines (or ‘pokies’, if you’re Australian’) in our service stations, and that we are indeed being ripped off by Domino’s, which is about half the price Down Under.
His ventures with food and drink have made up the bulk of his content.
His conclusions? Nando’s is worth the hype, Lidl bakery toffee yumyums are ‘honestly one of the nicest things I’ve tasted’, and Tesco meal deals are his ‘favourite part of the UK’.
On Vimto, he said: “Ooo-oh. I don’t know. It tastes like one of the frozen Fanta flavours from Macca’s. Trying to remember what it tastes like. Tastes like bubblegum, that’s it.”
He’s had two trips to Greggs, saying on his maiden voyage: “I’ve seen this place before. I think from memory they do like pastries and stuff… I asked inside and apparently the sausage roll is a Greggs classic, so.”
Sebastien then filmed himself taking a huge bite of his sausage roll, reviewing it: “Decent, decent. The meat tastes a bit fake but the pastry’s alright. For £1.20, pretty good, pretty good.”
Standing in Piccadilly Gardens, he pointed out the mad proximity of Greggs bakeries, saying: “Why is there a Greggs over there, when I literally just went to a Greggs here. Like are they that popular?” Yes Sebastien, yes they are.
On his second visit, he ordered better and got himself a steak bake, leading to this gem: “Whoever Gregg is, take a bow.”
His series has been going down a storm on TikTok with millions of views, even though he said he only initially started doing it to keep in touch with his friends back home.
One person commented after a night out video: “The UK is gonna turn you feral.”
Someone else said: “Imagine coming all the way from Australia to go to Factory.”
Another wrote: “No as someone from Manchester watching an Aussie go to Factory is HILARIOUS.”
Eurovision 2023 grand final to be screened live in cinemas across the UK
The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest is to be screened live in cinemas across the UK for the first time ever.
With fans from across the globe set to descend on Liverpool in a couple of months time as the UK hosts the 2023 edition of the world’s biggest song competition on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, those who weren’t lucky enough to secure tickets will instead by able to head to their nearest cinema to experience the action on the big screen.
Distributor CinemaLive has announced it will be broadcasting the Eurovision grand final show live in cinemas nationwide for the first time ever.
It means that Eurovision fans up and down the country who missed out on grabbing tickets to the final – which sold out in under 40 minutes after going on sale earlier this month – will be able to come together to celebrate what is set to be the “biggest, brightest, boldest music party of the year”.
500 cinemas across the UK, including several here in Greater Manchester, will be screening the grand final on Saturday 13 May.
Vue, Odeon, Cineworld, and Everyman are just some of the cinema chains taking part.
Vue Manchester Printworks, Odeon Great Northern, and Everyman Manchester are the Manchester city centre venues lined-up to screen the event – with cinemas in the The Lowry Outlet Mall, Trafford Centre, Didsbury, Heaton Moor, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bolton, and more also set to welcome Eurovision fans through their doors.
Event organisers say the screenings will encourage singalongs and fancy dress.
“We’re delighted to be working with the BBC to bring Eurovision’s grand final live into cinemas across the UK for the first time ever,” said John Travers from CinemaLive.
“We want audiences to enjoy themselves, so get your fancy dress on, and come together to enjoy this historic occasion on the big screen.”
With an illustrious entertainment career spanning over four decades, O’Grady may have been most well-known and loved by British audiences as a comedian, presenter, broadcaster, actor, writer, and the former drag queen Lily Savage – but he was also one of the nation’s most-famous dog lovers and animal rights advocates.
O’Grady was a longtime supporter and Ambassador of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and helped raise the profile of the shelter to millions around the world through the hugely-popular ITV series Paul O’Grady: For The Love of Dogs.
Battersea says there’s “no doubting” that O’Grady’s influence has helped thousands of rescue animals find new homes over the years.
Over several series of the show, O’Grady would make an effort to spend quality time with these animals and show-off all of their quirks and loveable qualities, which went a long way to proving that rescue animals “really are the best pets”.
Paying an emotional tribute to O’Grady following his passing today, Peter Laurie – Chief Executive of Battersea – said: “To many, Paul O’Grady was the immensely popular TV and radio presenter and comedian who lit up their screens with his razor-sharp humour and perpetual generosity and warmth [but] Battersea will forever remember Paul as a devoted animal lover with the biggest heart, who fell head over heels in love with every dog he met at our centres.
“Paul will always be associated with Battersea and we are truly saddened to have lost such a true friend and huge part of our charity.
“Paul had an extremely hands on approach as a Battersea Ambassador and has been fundamental in helping our charity to communicate important campaign messages.
“He was a champion for the underdog and would do anything to ensure all animals live a healthy and happy life.
“He will be dearly missed.”
Since the news of O’Grady’s passing was announced, touching tributes have been pouring in in their hundreds from right across the world of entertainment and on social media.
Countless famous names have shared supportive messages and memories.
Emotional tributes to O’Grady have been flooding in all morning, both from those who knew and had worked with him in the past, and from those who admired his work and all that he achieved and had stood for throughout his respected career.