f Tim Bentinck - Family

A Short Biography



I was born on a sheep station in Tasmania on June 1st 1953. My father had given up being a talks producer at the BBC for a life of adventure in the New World. He ran out of conversation after five years and he, my mother, my two older sisters, Sorrel and Anna, and I came back to England when I was two and lived in Berkhamsted, Herts until 1974.

I went to Berkhamsted Prep School where I was good at gym, languages, acting, swimming and getting beaten, and worked on farms throughout my childhood.

After a difficult start at Harrow School (1966-1971) (my mother died after my first term) I followed the family tradition of swimming fast and captained the invincible school team for two years. I ended up with A Levels in English, German and French.

I.D. Photos 1971-1985

I bummed round Europe for the best part of a year before going to the University of East Anglia from 1972 to 1975. I got a BA (Hons.) in History of Art, but spent most of my time in the Drama Society and water-skiing.

I worked in America for six months guiding tourists round New York and then for Trek America driving minibuses full of mostly Australian and British tourists coast to coast around the States. I helped my father and stepmother set up and run an organic self-sufficient smallholding in Devon (this time he'd given up being a producer at J. Walter Thompson for 'The Good Life').

After a spell trying to sell a diesel Mercedes to Moroccan taxi drivers in Tetuan, I decided an actor's life was for me so I got an HGV licence (I didn't like signing on) and went to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School 1976 to 1978, at the end of which I won the Carleton Hobbs radio award and joined the BBC Radio Rep.

I married Judith Emerson in 1979 and we bought a house in Bristol. After renovating it pretty much single-handedly, we moved to London in 1982 and bought a crumbling Victorian semi in Islington. If you've ever read "Diary of a Nobody", it's the Pooters' house, an early Victorian semi-detached 'villa' with wonderful pretensions to its betters in the west. 28 years later it's ready for the Forth Road Bridge job, but it is pretty much all my own work. Plumbing and finish plastering are the only things I don't attempt but I have just finished a fab big wet room!

My acting career has been based in voice work - David Archer in The Archers since
1982 (if you're a fan, try Archers Addicts), and a solid base as a successful voice-over artist, with a load of theatre - regional, fringe and West End, and forays into TV stardom - Tom Lacey in "By the Sword Divided", Nigel Barrington in "Square Deal", Steve Nicholson in "Made in Heaven", Wng Cmdr Raikes in "Strike Force" and the original Minister for Culture in "The Thick of It". Solid TV and film work in episodes of "Casualty", "The Bill" and "Doctors", Chris Barrie's business manager, Mark Fitzherbert in the sitcom "Prince Among Men", the U-Boat Commander in "Enigma", the voice of Chow Yung Fat in the English version of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and the voice of James Bond in the computer game of "The World Is Not Enough". See Curriculum Vitae for details.

Apart from rebuilding the house and trying to secure the family's future by inventing The Hippo, I was surprised to find that curiosity had made me rather good at programming, with two voiceover agencies running their businesses on my software, and a shareware program that converts everything for the Psion Organisers making a name (and a bit of money) for myself on the Internet. Writing these and playing Myst and Doom took over for a while from my previous obsession of writing and recording music.

I don't really program any more, but my websites have got much more professional, and provide a regular source of income on the side, so I'm still playing around with code. My songwriting has also become more important, since I'm finally performing them in my new one-man show, "Love Your Chocolates"!

I wrote a radio play that won a BBC competition for new writers and was shortlisted for a Sony Award, another called "The Viagrans" that's still under consideration, three film treatments, a children's book, a sitcom, half a TV play, a one man radio play for live theatre and three travel articles for Sunday papers. I had a book deal on a comic work written by me and Albert Welling, but as of now, the copyright problems still won't go away.

Now I'm doing the Archers, voiceovers, dubbing, theatre, commercial web sites, playwriting, songwriting and the last three years have seen a return to your TV screens, see my CV or watch the videos.