Timothy Bentinck

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Timothy Bentinck

Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland, Count Bentinck, MBE (born 1 June 1953 in Tasmania, Australia), commonly known as Tim Bentinck, is an English actor and writer, most widely known for his long-running role as David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 series, The Archers.

Background and education[edit]

The son of the non-conformist intellectual Henry Bentinck he was born on a sheep station in Tasmania, but moved to Berkhamsted in the UK when aged two. He attended a local prep school, Harrow School, and the University of East Anglia, where he spent most of his time at its drama society[1] before receiving a BA degree in the History of Art. After graduation he trained in acting at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.


Bentinck has been an actor since 1978 and is best known for the roles of David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 series The Archers and Tom Lacey in the BBC TV drama series By the Sword Divided (1983–85). He is also a voice-over artist, having provided the voice of James Bond for the video-game The World Is Not Enough (Nintendo 64 and Playstation),[2] and the voice of Roger Radcliffe in 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure, and for 15 years between 1990 and 2006 was the voice of "Mind The Gap" on the London Underground Piccadilly line. Bentinck has a long list of theatre, television and film credits.[3] He appeared in The Thick of It in 2005 and 2007 and starred with David Jason in The Royal Bodyguard in 2012.

As himself, Bentinck has appeared on Call My Bluff, won a round of University Challenge,[4] Celebrity Mastermind,[5] Pointless Celebrities and beaten Judith Keppel on science in Celebrity Eggheads.[6]

Bentinck has revoiced Gérard Depardieu in the film Nouvelle France,[7] and Chow Yung Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.[8] He has provided post-production voices for dozens of major US and UK film and television productions since helping provide the voices of both Scottish and English armies alongside Mel Gibson in Braveheart.

His first film role was as 'Harris', Roger Moore's lieutenant in North Sea Hijack; other film roles include William Goldman's The Year of the Comet, the western, The Pride of Wade Ellison, and the short film, Locked Up by Bugsy Riverbank Steel - winner of Best Foreign Short Film at the Lanzarote Film Festival in 2013. Also Fast Girls, The Redistributors, Rule Number Three with Nicholas Hoult, The Pirates of Penzance with Kevin Kline, Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night, Vanity Fair, the U-boat commander in Enigma, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and many short and student films. In 2018 he starred with Jack Roth as Conrad in the Netflix movie, Us And Them.

On stage, after a wealth of London fringe theatre experience, Bentinck starred as the Pirate King in The Pirates of Penzance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1982, as Captain Brice in Arcadia at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, and as Hubert Laurie in Night Must Fall, also at the Haymarket. Bentinck toured a one-man show, Love Your Chocolates,[9] - a mixture of stories, comedy songs and multi-media, and played Frank in Educating Rita [10] at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Berkshire, in 2009. In 2018 he played the new Prime Minister, Adam Masters, in the comedy 'Brexit' at the Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, and the King's Head, Islington.

Bentinck regularly writes travel articles for The Mail on Sunday [11] and his book, 'Avant Garde A Clue,[12] co-written with Albert Welling, is published on Kindle. In March 2015 his children's book, Colin The Campervan, was published by FBS Publishing. The sequel is in production.

Bentinck's autobiography, Being David Archer - And Other Unusual Ways of Earning a Living was published by Constable in 2017. Radio Wiltshire's Book of the Year, it is described by Amazon: "With wry, self-deprecating humour, Timothy recounts his enormously varied life - a successful actor in TV, film and theatre, 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, farm worker and house renovator. 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."

Bentinck has made many guest appearances in Big Finish audio dramas, including versions of Doctor Who,[13] Torchwood, Blake's 7[14] and Space 1999.[15]

In the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to drama.[16]

Bentinck is also an inventor with several patents to his name,[17] as well as a programmer/web site designer,[18] musician[19] and writer.[20]


Bentinck's roles on television include:

In 2016, he played the role of Frederick Forsyth in the BBC television film Reg.[24]

Video games[edit]

Bentinck has also done voicework for numerous videogame titles[25]:


On the death of the 9th Duke of Portland in 1990, Bentinck's father Henry, a sixth cousin of the Duke, succeeded to the earldom of Portland. In 1997, Tim Bentinck succeeded his father. Although he took his seat in the House of Lords, Bentinck did not speak there before losing the right to do so as a result of the House of Lords Act 1999. Apart from a lecture tour of the United States on English Eccentrics,[when?] he has not used this title.[citation needed]

On 29 December 1732, the Hon. William Bentinck, Baron Bentinck of the Duchy of Guelders (second surviving son of Hans Willem Bentinck), was made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire as Count (Graf) Bentinck,[26] by Imperial Letters Patent. This title continues to be held by Tim Bentinck and his heirs. Under the Royal Warrant of 27 April 1932 on Foreign Titles the dispensation granted by Queen Victoria to use the title socially in Great Britain was rescinded beyond any living heirs, so only Bentinck's late father and aunt were allowed to do so.


Bentinck married the milliner Judith Emerson in 1979, and they have two sons:

They live in North London.

His sister Anna Bentinck is an actress.


Specific references:

  1. ^ "University of East Anglia" (PDF). UEA. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Tim Bentinck Interview". MI6. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Tim Bentinck". IMDb.com. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Tim Bentinck in University Challenge". YouTube. 5 September 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  5. ^ "BBC One - Celebrity Mastermind, 2012/2013, Episode 10". Bbc.co.uk. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  6. ^ "BBC Two - Celebrity Eggheads, Series 5, Episode 8". Bbc.co.uk. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Battle of the Brave (2004)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  9. ^ "The Watermill Theatre - Love Your Chocolates! - An Evening With Tim Bentinck". Watermill.org.uk. 3 July 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  10. ^ "The Watermill Theatre - EDUCATING RITA". Watermill.org.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  11. ^ "The Archers move to Sydney: Tim Bentinck heads down under | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  12. ^ Avant Garde A Clue eBook: Isskott Belsohn, Albert Welling, Timothy Bentinck: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store. Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  13. ^ "Moonflesh". Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Battleground". Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  15. ^ "Gerry Anderson's Space 1999 returns - News - Big Finish". www.bigfinish.com. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  16. ^ "No. 62310". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 June 2018. p. B15.
  17. ^ "A child support - United Kingdom Patent GB2201083". Patent.ipexl.com. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  18. ^ "Tim Bentinck - Websites". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  19. ^ "Tim Bentinck - Music Recordings". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  20. ^ "Tim Bentinck - Travel". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  21. ^ Tim Bentinck on IMDb
  22. ^ Director: Ian Barber; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Kim Revill (23 April 2013). "Episode dated 23/04/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
  23. ^ "Tim Bentinck". IMDb. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  24. ^ "BBC One: Reg". BBC Online. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  25. ^ "IMDb - International Media Database".
  26. ^ Ruvigny, Melville H. (2000) [1909]. The Nobilities of Europe. Adamant Media Corporation.

General references:

External links[edit]

Peerage of England
Preceded by
Henry Bentinck
Earl of Portland
Member of the House of Lords
(1997 – 1999)
German nobility
of the Holy Roman Empire
Preceded by
Henry Bentinck
Count Bentinck