Being David Archer

  • by Timothy Bentinck
  • Narrated by Timothy Bentinck
  • 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Timothy Bentinck has played the part of David Archer in BBC Radio 4's The Archers since 1982. He is also the Earl of Portland and the voice of 'Mind the Gap' on the Piccadilly Line. Aimed primarily at the five million regular Archers listeners, Timothy takes the listener behind the scenes of the longest running drama series in the world, a British institution with a theme tune that Billy Connolly wants to be the National Anthem.
But that's not all. With wry, self-deprecating humour, Timothy recounts his enormously varied life - a successful actor in TV, film and theatre, he is a voice specialist working in every vocal medium. He's also been an HGV truck driver, a US tour guide, a computer programmer and website designer, an inventor with UK and US patents, a farm worker and a house renovator, and he even sat as a crossbencher in the House of Lords for three years. Unlike many acting memoirs, this isn't a succession of thespian tales of freezing digs, forgotten lines and name dropping. This is an articulate, funny and thoughtful account of how to survive an insecure life.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not just for Archers' fans

Let's get the archers out of the way to begin with. Yes Lord Timothy Bentinck (12th Earl of Portland) is most famous for playing david Archer in the longest running soap in the world and that part of his life is a thread which weaves it's way through the entire memoir. As an Archers fan I would have enjoyed it for that alone. The Archers has been a thread in my life for over 27 years and has seen me through both great joy and sadness. David feels like an old friend whose life I've been earwigging on for a long time. But, fear not if you are not an Archers fan there's still a lot to find entertaining and interesting in this collection of memories.
I am of the view that normally authors should not be allowed to read their own works, usually they tend to kill their characters stone dead. I remember hearing JK Rowling reading from one of her Harry Potter books and thinking that I was glad I could go back to Stephen Fry's excellent narration. Bentinck turns in an outstanding narration, hardly surprising I suppose given that his work is, well, er, acting. Nonetheless if you listen to this, you will perhaps be as surprised as I was at the depth of talent that lies behind the character of david Archer, who not wishing to be rude, is a little bland and perhaps not that challenging to play. I was amazed and delighted to hear wonderful mimmickery and a diverse range of axxents. Perhaps it takes all the more talent to bring to life an ordinary human being and make them genuinely believable after all we all know someone like David Archer.
The book contains all the usual things you would expect from a memoir, ancestry, childhood, career and family all of which are told with self-deprecation and a wonderful sense of humour. I found myself laughing throughout listening to this title. I also found myself moved in a way I had not expected.
If you are a fan of the Archers you will enjoy this book. If you like reading memoirs, are interested in the acting proffession or are just a little bit nosy, you will enjoy it as well.
I shall now be looking for other books narrated by Bentinck as listening to him read is a true delight.
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- Yusuf

A great listen for any Archers fan

I won’t lie, David Archer is my favourite character in The Archers so I was always going to listen to this book rather than read it and I wasn’t disappointed. Great stories, that voice.. and even a bit of singing!
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- Laura Haynes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2017
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group