BBC RADIO 4 Thursday 18 June 2009
Bill Mitchell – The Man Who Wrestled Pumas...Probably
Thursday 18 June
11.30am-12.00noon BBC RADIO 4
Miriam Margolyes profiles the life of the late Bill Mitchell, the gravelly baritone who informed people that the latest blockbusters would be "at cinemas near you from Sunday"; that a certain brand of lager was probably the best in the world; and that a type of aftershave was for men who didn't have to try too hard.
Born in Canada, Mitchell apparently developed his trademark voice either as a result of suffering mumps as a child or by falling from a tree and damaging his windpipe. He admitted that the heavy drinking and smoking which began in his teens helped preserve his voice and drove his excessive lifestyle.
Mitchell's voiceover career began in the late Sixties with a recommendation by Patrick Allen, the then undisputed voiceover king, and a Pan Am advert showcasing Mitchell's Orson Welles impression. This impression ultimately mutated into his trademark sound.
Mitchell died in August 1997 but his name remains ranked as one of the greats within the advertising industry, with his voice still impersonated by other artists today.
The programme features contributions from: musicians Zoot Money and Kenny Clayton; fellow voiceover and creative Chris Sandford; industry moguls Nick Angell and Rob Townsend; and Bill's daughter, Amanda McAllister.
Presenter/Miriam Margolyes, Producer/Paul Hardy
BBC Radio 4 Publicity
See also pages 7, 119 & 131 of the new RadioTimes.
It's coming, it's Zor-tastic and it doesn't mention Frontier on Space. Blame me, I came up with the idea and wrote the script.