back to top

The Culture Secretary Just Announced That The Beatles Weren't German And It Was Quite Odd

There are, apparently, no French Rolling Stones either.

Posted on

This is culture secretary John Whittingdale purposefully striding across the stage at the Conservative party conference on Monday, just before he said something slightly odd.

Paul Ellis / AFP / Getty Images

In his speech, as well as a bunch of other culture-related things, he said this:

“There are no French Rolling Stones, no German Beatles; there is no Italian Bond, no Spanish Rowling, no Dutch David Bowie.”

It turns out he was quoting historian Dominic Sandbrook, whose new book is all about Britain's cultural influence – but the Tory party's tweet didn't make that clear.

re: Whittingdale's "no Dutch David Bowie" line earlier, he was quoting Dominic Sandbrook:

So the good people of Twitter came up with their own suggestions of British things that other countries don't have.

For example, it is inarguable that there is no Peruvian Mr Blobby.

No German Golden Lookin' Chain No Armenian Phil Collins No Kenyan S Club 7 No Peruvian Mr Blobby @CCHQPress

There is no Namibian Genesis, nor a Russian Cat Bin Lady.

No Belgian Piers Morgan, no Namibian Genesis, no Latino Crufts, no Russian that woman who put a cat in a bin

There are no Yorkshire puddings in Macedonia.


There is no Kenyan Bobby Davro.

However, almost in unison, people on Twitter pointed out that we shouldn't be too smug: There is no foreign Piers Morgan.

There's no French, German, Italian, Spanish or Dutch Piers Morgan so I think they're winning

Also, there was this cool song about a Dutch David Bowie.

To the tune of Eleanor Rigby: 🎶Dutch David Bowie Writing the words to chorus of Spiders from Mars Best friend's called Lars🎶

And we are still waiting for this to happen.

Now "Dutch David Bowie" is trending , how long will it take someone to carve Bowie's head from an Edam ball, with a red wax lightning bolt?

Because this is terrifying.

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.