Helen - I remember that excellent series. Just about every library I worked at after it came out had the book which I also read.
We have turned off the TV when accents become just too difficult to understand, accents from various parts of the British Isles. They might be speaking English, but that doesn't mean we understand what is being said.
When visiting Canada - Ontario in particular - we, two Aussies born and bred, have been mistaken for British. A complaint made about Ozzies is that we sometimes speak quickly so we slow down for the Canadians, with the result being the question "Are you English?" "Noooo........" we reply.
The late John Clarke presented an interesting program a few years ago on Aussie English, "The sounds of Aus", taking into account many of the regional dialects from the British Isles which have gone into making our current accent. There's a bit of everywhere in our accent.