It's not a British or age thing. Rest assured.
Then why are people in this thread acting like TNG is some show that 5 people even remember?
TNG to me is obviously the more popular show with the younger generation the movie is aimed at (NONE of my friends have ever seen an episode of TOS!). It can't even be argued that TOS is more liked by the public. William Shatner is a total joke in popular culture whereas Patrick Stewart is one of the most respected actors in the world.
People will still be fondly recalling Stewart as Picard when Chris Pine's frat boy antics are long forgotten.
In the U.S., Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock are pop culture icons. Jean-Luc Picard is not.
The common average NON
-Star Trek fan American (some of whom are people who never watched any Star Trek of any kind in their lives) have mostly heard of Kirk and Spock, but not Picard.
By the way, I'm a big fan of TNG, as well as TOS. I'm just pointing out that the knowledge of the character "Captain Kirk" is ubiquitous among a wide range of people the United States. Picard is mostly known by Star Trek fans.