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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
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 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 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), 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 wealth of theatre, television and film credits. 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, Celebrity Mastermind, Pointless Celebrities and beaten Judith Keppel on science in Celebrity Eggheads.
Bentinck has revoiced Gérard Depardieu in the film Nouvelle France, and Chow Yung Fat in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 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.
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 tours a one-man show, Love Your Chocolates, - a mixture of stories, comedy songs and multi-media, and played Frank in Educating Rita  at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury, Berkshire, in 2009.
Bentick regularly writes travel articles for The Mail on Sunday  and his book, 'Avant Garde A Clue, 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.
Bentick'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, house renovator and he 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."
Bentinck's roles on television include: The Game, The Politician's Husband, The Royal Bodyguard, Twenty Twelve, The Thick of It, Doctors, Broken News, Shadow Play, Sharpe's Rifles, The Armando Iannucci Shows, A Prince Among Men, Grange Hill, Made in Heaven, Square Deal, By the Sword Divided, EastEnders and Silent Witness.
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.
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, 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 socially the title 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:
- William Jack Henry Bentinck, Viscount Woodstock (born 19 May 1984)
- The Hon. Jasper James Mellowes Bentinck (born 12 June 1988)
They live in North London.
His sister Anna Bentinck is an actress.
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- "Moonflesh". Retrieved 2015-05-06.
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- Director: Ian Barber; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Kim Revill (23 April 2013). "Episode dated 23/04/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
- "BBC One: Reg". BBC Online. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
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- Actor Tim Bentinck - Who’s who The Archers, BBC Radio 4
|Peerage of England|
| Earl of Portland
Member of the House of Lords
(1997 – 1999)
of the Holy Roman Empire
| Count Bentinck