Canadians love all things British: we embrace the Royal Family, watch Coronation Street and gobble fish and chips dinners like they were poutine. Will and Kate, Adele, Helen Mirren, Daniel Craig and Emma Watson are all household names. But that big ocean between our nations still separates us from some of Britain’s biggest cultural exports, so we created this guide to the beautiful and gossip-worthy UK celebs you don’t know, including their North American equivalent (henceforth known as NAE), what they’re famous for and why it’s fun to follow them.
The biggest (British) stars you’ve never heard of
NAE: Carrie Underwood
What: X Factor, bad relationships, being a WAG
Why: Her personal life is a hot mess, and may make you feel better about not being a rich, gorgeous celebrity.Getty
NAE: Selena Gomez
What: 2009 hit “Mama Do,” super cute mod outfits
Why: The pert 23-year-old has a fairly drama-free personal life, but her videos and post-club appearances are just messy enough to keep the UK press hot on her very high heels.
NAE: Kim Kardashian
What: Topless modeling, reality TV, accidental sex tapes
Why: Katie Price, aka Jordan, is best known for her messy personal life – most recently the pregnant star’s husband slept with her BFF.
What: Reality TV
Why: The former beautician now sells her own lines of dresses and beauty products, including tan kits and vajazzles. Yup, vajazzles. She also drops sound bites like, “I thought the capital of India was Pakistan?”
NAE: Tracy Anderson meets Bethenny Frankel meets Kat Von D
What: Reality TV, massive bodily transformation, selfies
Why: Worth following if you’re into super-fit celebs and selfies, specifically selfies of super-fit celebs, specifically Jodie Marsh.
NAE: Nicole Sherzinger
What: Pussycat Dolls, X Factor
Why: Sure, you know the US-born Pussycat Dolls singer, but what have you heard from her lately? She’s no biggie here, but Sherzinger is huge in the UK, where tabloids tittle over the usual: her love life, her clothes, her boobs and her hairy childhood. Fun!
NAE: Jennifer Hudson
What: X Factor
Why: Cher Lloyd didn’t win her reality TV debut, but she did score a record deal, and is now gathering fans on both sides of the pond for her rap-infused pop. The feisty, married 20-year-old claims she’s done with her old diva antics, but is she sure?
Brian McFadden and Vogue Williams
NAE: Tori and Dean
What: He was the lead singer of 90s boy band West Life; She’s a DJ, model and reality star
Why: If you like catty love triangles, there’s plenty public friction between Williams, McFadden and his ex, Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona.
NAE: One Direction
What: X Factor winning boy band
Why: The UK tabloids cover One Direction stories we don’t get here, and knowing the details will endear you with your tweeny bopper friends and relatives.
NAE: Kelly Ripa
What: Television personality
Why: Warm, empathetic and smart, the currently pregnant celeb is also loved for her fashionable bump wear.