After praising Laurence Olivier’s narration of ‘The World at War’, one of the finest documentaries ever made – a discussion which arose out of Top 10 War Memorials – Labour History Group suggested this list.
- Oliver Postgate Writer, producer and narrator of Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Bagpuss. Suggested by Labour History Group and Neil Walker.
- Veronika Hyks Co-narrator of the British version of People’s Century, a 1995 BBC documentary about the 20th century. Nominated by Labour History Group.
- Rebecca Front Suggested, in turn by Sam West, who says she “should be on any serious list”. Famous for The Thick of It, she also narrated Fox Wars, a 2013 documentary about urban foxes.
- Will Lyman Narrator of PBS’s Frontline television news feature series since 1984. “Has a perfectly portentous voice,” according to Tom Wein.
- Sam West Narrator of Laurence Rees’s 1997 series for the BBC, The Nazis: A Warning from History. Labour History Group again.
- Geoffrey Palmer Brother-in-law of Reggie Perrin, voice of “Vorsprung durch Technik” in Audi ads, narrator of BBC’s Grumpy Old Men. Nominated by Sir Robin Bogg and James Menendez.
- Barbara Flynn “Not for Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, but for all the best of Horizon,” says Xlibris1.
- Laurence Olivier Best line the opener to episode three, about the Maginot Line: “Here the guns would halt the Hun – provided the Hun came this way.”
- Helen Mirren Nominated by Tim Bale for her narration of Enemy of the Reich, this year’s docudrama of a Muslim woman who joined the French Resistance.
- Kenneth Branagh Narrator of BBC series Walking With Dinosaurs (1999), Walking with Beasts (2001) and Walking with Monsters (2005).
Originally published in the Independent on 28th December 2014.