Friday, August 11, 2006

RIP Patrick Allen

I've only just received news that Patrick Allen died on July 28th. Don't recognise the name? Well, I swear you know his voice.

In the early 50s Allen played a small role in Dial M for Murder, but crossing paths with Hitch didn't exactly ignite a big screen career for the actor. There's Puppet on a Chain and Who Dares Wins, and a few more, but that's not why we will remember him, nor for his years in the RSC.

We will remember Patrick Allen, simply, for his commanding, authorative voice and the ridiculous, silly things he said with it.

He narrated series one of Blackadder, voiced the awesome Protective and Survive campaign (sampled for Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Two Tribes), dubbed Leon Green in Hammer's The Devil Rides Out, announced countless Vic and Bob programmes and, for the last year or so, became the voice of E4. I'll never forget the trailer he recorded telling me that Big Trouble in Little China features "the slaggy one out of Sex and the City" or his announcement that "Only we has got Six chuffing Feet Under."

He is survived by his wife, the actress Sarah Lawson, and two sons.


Anonymous said...

You will have seen him running from a helicopter in the Barratt Homes ads of the 1970s.

He was also the voice of Gillette ads for many years.

He was the first person you'd call for 'action' voice; and many of the voiceover man jokes and cliches derived from his reads. Big companies and financial corporations used him endlessly.

One of the most distinct voices of his time, he became very unfashionable in the late 90s and early 2000s, until E4 started using him 'ironically'.

Mark said...

I'll always equate the guy with his work for Vic and Bob, the direct antecedent for all that "tellybox" work for E4. I'm sure I'll miss that big, booming voice as much as I miss Tommy Vance's. Dammit.