View Full Version : Best narrator

8th Apr 2005, 22:22
I happened to catch a smidgen of Rodger Moore this evening in yet another Bond film repeat.

Made me think, as I was listening rather than watching, - who has the best male narration voice ?

I guess I am talking generally, therefore, adverts and documentaires are also eligible. Mr Moore apparently spends more time doing narration these days and of course his charity work.

Obviously it depends on the topic but my favourites would be ;

Richard Burton
Anthony Hopkins

Quite like Andrew Sachs and Jonathan Kidd

Any thoughts ? ....

8th Apr 2005, 22:25
Any story told by Sean Connery would have my undivided attention.

8th Apr 2005, 22:29
Tom Baker

Onan the Clumsy
8th Apr 2005, 22:45
Any story told by Sean Connery would have my undivided attention erm...mine too actually :O

Richard Burton in Jeff Wayn'e War of the Worlds :ok:

Apparently the bloke who does the books on taps version of the James Lee Burke books is pretty good. The boks are certainly very good.

8th Apr 2005, 22:55
I'm big on voices...so....in no particular, these are a few I think are/ were/ would be good.

James Mason
Alan Rickman
Kenneth Branagh
John Nettles
Robert Powell
Liam Cunningham



PS - I used to work with a guy who went to same school as Sean Connery. Consequence was, he sounded almost exactly like him. However, this guy was an absolute barsteward so the accent doesn't do for me now what it used to!

tony draper
8th Apr 2005, 23:23
For the cousins it would have to be Gregory Peck or Lee Marvin, both fabulous voices.
Something weird ,sitting here trying to think of a distinctive American female voice and I can't think of a single one.

8th Apr 2005, 23:25
Me thinks one has maybe started an original thread here. Please may it be recorded in PPRuNe history ?

8th Apr 2005, 23:25
Lauren Bacall maybe? Kathleen Turner?

Just a girl's point of view you understand.



tony draper
8th Apr 2005, 23:29
Don't think so LL one recals a thread along similar lines, although it may have been on a different website so you could be right.
Have to agree with Whirly,
Alan Rickman, great voice.
Once heard Leo Makern( Rumpole of the Baily) narrate a documentry about Pashendale, very moving.
I come from a generation mostly raised on radio plays,a good voice made all the difference, a narrator could make the Africa of King Solomns Mines appear in your head, or send you out on the ice with Captain Scott,nowadays its all presented full colour wide screen with stereophonic sound, no imagination on the punters part required, not sure if its a good thing, the imagination should be excercised in the young.
One is waxing philosophical tonight

8th Apr 2005, 23:40
My English teacher, Mr Salt, who could take a bunch of giggling, loudmouthed, self-centred idiots (schoolkids) and hold them spellbound with " A tale of two cities"

Howard Hughes
8th Apr 2005, 23:45
Only one for me, JAMES EARL JONES!

I think those upper class british accents become rather tedious after a while.....

Cheers HH.


Retreating to fall out shelter.

Onan the Clumsy
8th Apr 2005, 23:58
Dianna Rigg


9th Apr 2005, 00:18
Robert Mitchum was quite good at it and the bloke who narrated the "Victory at Sea" series.

9th Apr 2005, 00:35
Agree with Richard Burton as a choice, especially after hearing him read Under Milk Wood. Bit of a Samuel West fan as well.

9th Apr 2005, 00:52
Sean Bean ain't too bad
Forget First name....Rhys Davis..."Shogun" "Taipan"

9th Apr 2005, 01:48
Mr. D - you see my point, wireless was a more imaginative medium.

None of this widescreen nonsense which should be restricted until urchins can spell to the age of 19 at 12 years of age.

Fair - I think it is bloody lucky. I rest my case.

Damn the Playstations etc etc murmur murmur

PS. Vote Tory oops.

9th Apr 2005, 03:01
Richard Burton :ok:

Cate Blanchett :ok:

9th Apr 2005, 03:21
I am somewhat convinced that the voice of God Almighty has been bestowed upon James Earl Jones... He is obviously my first choice.


9th Apr 2005, 06:02
Sanjeev, from The Kumars at 42 has an excellent voice for narration. He has done some wildlife docos.

Richard Burton WAS great. Pity he has passed away.

Joanna Lumley has an excellent voice for narration as well.

Loose rivets
9th Apr 2005, 07:07
My neighbor Giles Watling (son of Jack) did that thing on telly a couple of years back about finding Tu tan Kharmun's (SP?) Tomb. Lovely rich voice...even when he's had a few :}

A mate of mine used to own a recording studio....sound-dead rooms and 2" tape and all that. I watched through the glass while a very deep voiced man was doing an add...he was always on telly in those days.

After doing a nifty add, he sighed, crumpled up his script and said in an even deeper voice. "What am I going to tell my kids I do for a living?"

I do not know what the .... :mad: .... is going on here. Kids seem to be turning into...well, ducks!

It's spreading across the US like wildfire...throwing the voice to the back of the throat, and then strangling it...until it is a cross between an extremely wild fowl and Metal Micky.

B Fraser
9th Apr 2005, 08:31
Any story told by Sean Connery would have my undivided attention.


I can do a very good impression of the worldsh shexshiest shpeech impediment.

callsh are charged at a pound a minute :cool:

9th Apr 2005, 08:53
Lawrence Olivier......specifically "The World at War". :cool:

What is the latest trend for peeps with strong accents? That really is appalling to listen to, don't you know, old bean. :ugh:

9th Apr 2005, 10:00
Sean Barratt .... the narrator of channel 4's aircrash detectives "Black box".

9th Apr 2005, 10:10
For most of the 70s and 80s Horizon documentaries were VO'd (voiced over - for those of us who don't work in tellyland) by Paul Vaughn. I could listen to him speak forever. Never mind the luvvies, with the possible exception of Richard Burton. I mean, Sean Bean is OK-ish but a bit too regional.

9th Apr 2005, 10:49
Michael Hordern was excellent as the voice of Paddington Bear as was Richard Briers with Roobarb & Custard. One last one from Kids telly: Ringo Starr & Thomas the tank engine:)

Charlotte Green can read my news anytime:}

tall and tasty
9th Apr 2005, 10:50
Toe curlers for me and I could listen until the cows come home:

Sean Connery
Pierce Brosnan
Clive Owen ( from the King Arthur)
George Clooney

All good looking too, but just close my eyes and drift off on their voices!! (but I know others may not agree)


9th Apr 2005, 11:49
Used to love listening to Peter Ustinov

David Attenborough perhaps would get a vote or two.

tony draper
9th Apr 2005, 12:20
The flowerpot men, ADOLODAPLOP!!


9th Apr 2005, 12:58
Now you're talking Mr. Draper. I always had a bit of soft spot for Ben; his voice was a deeper and oh so sexy!



Conan the Librarian
9th Apr 2005, 14:43
If like me, you were one of the few people who bought Rick Wakemans' "Return to the centre of the Earth" you will have heard the narration of Patrick Stewart, whom I now think to be in a league of his own. Clarity, diction, class and authority.

Failing that, Steven Hawking.

9th Apr 2005, 15:16
Another voice for James Earl Jones. He was the voice of Darth freakin Vader.

For those that have seen it, I reckon Kath from "Kath and Kim" would be another good vote :E

Onan the Clumsy
9th Apr 2005, 15:19
If like me, you were one of the few people who bought Rick Wakemans' "Return to the centre of the Earth" you will have heard the narration of Patrick Stewart, whom I now think to be in a league of his own. Clarity, diction, class and authority. [:8]

My brother had it. My favourite bit is when they're escaping from underground and he said "and they rose through the ages of man" partly because it just tied in with the music so well.


9th Apr 2005, 15:23
If like me, you were one of the few people who bought Rick Wakemans' "Return to the centre of the Earth" you will have heard the narration of Patrick Stewart, whom I now think to be in a league of his own. Clarity, diction, class and authority. I thought David Hemmings made a fair fist of the narration on the original "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" album, actually.

PPRuNe Towers
9th Apr 2005, 16:47
Hilico got it right. In the industry Paul Vaughan is the one known as VOG (voice of god).

However a low public profile and what appeared to be a bear hug contract when Orange, the mobile people, kicked off caused him to drop out of public view other than a jazz programme for beeb radio.

Still considered the doyen around the Wardour Street dubbing studios. You may not recognise the name but you grew up with the voice. Absolutely the best.


9th Apr 2005, 17:37
The actor Sean Pertwee, heard him a few times on nature programs, sounds very neutral, accent wise.

9th Apr 2005, 18:26
Uncle Mac or even better David Davis, bring back Jennings I say.

9th Apr 2005, 20:02
I have to go with Burton. He was the greatest. I listened to him again recently reading Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood". Utterly spell-binding. Hopkins comes close - what is it about deep, rich Welsh voices?

I've tried to think of an equivalent woman but I can't get beyond Joanna Lumley. What a sexy voice.

9th Apr 2005, 20:49
How's about the late Great......
John Peel :ok:

9th Apr 2005, 21:02
No one's mentioned Stephen Fry - an excellent interpreter of the written word, and an even better turn of phrase when improvising. And agree Joanna Lumley also...

Cheers - SLF

Onans Girlfriend
9th Apr 2005, 21:07
Michael York...... Mmmmmm such a gorgeous voice

9th Apr 2005, 21:10
Just caught the end of Casualty :yuk: and reminded me of the lovely tones of Simon MacCorkindale - quite easy on the eye too :ok:



10th Apr 2005, 03:55
Actually, Graham Garden (Goodies) has a great narrators voice too. Don't know if too many ladies find him as sexy as Pierce or Sean.

In Oz, the VOG was Charles "Bud" Tingwell. But Russel Crowe does a fair job too.

10th Apr 2005, 03:56
Tellytubbies :p

10th Apr 2005, 04:35
Alastair Cookie. :D

Loose rivets
10th Apr 2005, 04:56
No one's mentioned Stephen Fry - an excellent interpreter of the written word, and an even better turn of phrase when improvising.

‘He even poo-poo'd his poo-poos'

And agree Joanna Lumley also...

Mmm, who wouldn't?

Pinky the pilot
10th Apr 2005, 05:55
Agree with those who mentioned Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton.
Surprised that no-one has mentioned the actor William Conrad whom was the narrator on the 60s TV show 'The Fugitive'. He also was the narrator in the cartoon show 'Rocky and Bullwinkle'. Not that I'd hold that against him!
Joanna Lumley definitely! I wonder why though, whenever I see a posting from T&T that a mental picture of Miss Lumley springs to mind!!:D

You only live twice. Once when
you're born. Once when
you've looked death in the face.

10th Apr 2005, 08:20
One should also mention the actor Martin Jarvis who has an excellent style of story telling. His books on tape are first class.

Morgan James
10th Apr 2005, 09:18
Another vote here for Richard Burton, one of the best ever. I also like Morgan Freeman and whoever said Cate Blanchett was right too; her introduction for Lord of the Rings was wonderful. I think Gabriel Byrne has a good voice too as well as the well-mentioned Joanna Lumley.

Oldjet Jockey
10th Apr 2005, 10:43
Only those of you as old as me and Mr. Draper will remember the man who told chilling horror stories on the old steam radio. He called himself "Your story teller - the man in black".

I can't remember his real name but he could make your hairs stand on end during his story telling.


tony draper
10th Apr 2005, 11:00
Valentine Dylle (sp?)of course.
We had a clockwork wireless, luxuries like a steam radio were beyond our wildest dreams.

Oldjet Jockey
10th Apr 2005, 11:04
Thanks T.D. you have awakened my poor old memory, and to hell with the spelling it sure was Mr. V.D. (Hope those initials don't start a deformation of character case against me by his descendants)

10th Apr 2005, 11:05
The late Sir Michael Redgrave was, for me, unsurpassed. Two series in particular spring to mind; "The Great War" and "The Lost Peace".

Magnificent narration.

tony draper
10th Apr 2005, 11:29
Recal reading that Rudolf Valletino he who the ladies of the time would swoon over had a high squeaky voice like Micky Mouse, and he would never have made it in the talkies,suppose nowadays he would have a voice double.

Solid Rust Twotter
10th Apr 2005, 11:33
Didn't Valentine Dyall introduce the Goon Show a couple of times on the old coal fired radio?

Capn Notarious
10th Apr 2005, 15:04
Frederick Forsythe narrating The Shepherd.

Sir Loin
10th Apr 2005, 15:59
Tom Baker


King of the Beet Lowlands
10th Apr 2005, 17:37
Let it be known unto all my subjects, Cheerio is correct on this one. Arthur Lowe reading the Mr Men is the best.

And for all you doubting Thomases out there try this (http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Studio/3477/mrmen/draughts2.wav).

In fact I like him so much I think I shall invest him as a posthumous KBE (Knight of the Order of the Beet Empire). I like to think I'm a benevolent ruler you see. All rise for Sir Authur Lowe KBE.

Any one else fancy a title? The Earldom of Thetford is vacant at the moment.

tony draper
10th Apr 2005, 18:07
The ones that really get on ones tits are those over enthusiastic gushing way over the top American front men or compairs,one would not grace them with the title narrator, theres one on right now in Scrap Heap Challenge,normally like that prog but I cannot watch it with that feckwit gobbing off like a demented hyenna.

10th Apr 2005, 19:54
Philip Madoc, Anton Lesser. But what about Peter Jones in "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide"?:D

King of the Beet Lowlands
10th Apr 2005, 22:12

You are indeed a worthy individual. For services to the Mr Men cause I would like to besto on you one of the higher gifts in my royal favour.

The Marquess of Wisbech

Please advise me as to when you will be able to come to my awsome capital city (Ely) to be invested.

(PS Don't forget to pack your wellies).

Edited 'cause I can't even spell place names in my own frickin Kingdom! :(

10th Apr 2005, 22:29
George Sanders for tone, Carl Sagan for content.

11th Apr 2005, 01:40

Agree about Peter Jones. Did he actually understand the script, though?

The new Hitchhiker chap is just as good - William Franklin ("Shhh! You know who").

And Val Singley is brilliant. Take one, every time.

Oh, and Peter Hawkins with his tales of the sea.

So many good voices. I like the electric wireless.

Atlas Shrugged
11th Apr 2005, 03:11
Richard Burton on the War of the Worlds album

11th Apr 2005, 03:28
"Fireside Al" Maitland narrating The Shepherd.

PPRuNe Pop
11th Apr 2005, 09:36
David McCullough, the voice behind the American CIVIL WAR series. A super voice that adds that important dimension - the interest factor.

I'd by a menu if he was reading i! :ok:

11th Apr 2005, 11:11
Agree about Peter Jones. Did he actually understand the script, though?

Sorry chap but I don't understand the question.:)

11th Apr 2005, 18:31
Richard Bryers gets my vote.

I still think of those poor little wabbits when I hear him.

:sad: :( :{ :{ :{