Timothy Bentinck

Timothy Bentinck

Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland, Count Bentinck (born 1 June 1953 in Tasmania, Australia), commonly known as Tim Bentinck, is an English actor, most widely known for his long-running role as David Archer in the BBC Radio 4 series, The Archers. He is also Viscount Woodstock, Baron Cirencester and a mediatised Count of the Holy Roman Empire, although he does not use any of his titles.

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 (UEA), 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 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.".[2] He is the voice of Roger Radcliffe in 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure and for 15 years was the voice of 'Mind The Gap' on the London Underground Piccadilly line. Bentinck has a wealth of theatre, television and film credits.[3] He was the original Minister in The Thick of It 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, and many short and student films.

On stage, after a wealth of London fringe theatre, 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,[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.

He writes regular 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 will be out in December 2015.

He has made guest appearances in several Big Finish audio dramas, in both Doctor Who[13] and Blake's 7[14] ranges.

He is also an inventor with several patents to his name,[15] as well as a programmer/web site designer,[16] musician,[17] and writer.[18]


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,[19] EastEnders[20] and Silent Witness.

In 2016, he played the role of Frederick Forsyth in the BBC television film Reg.[21]


On the death of the 9th and last 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, 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,[22] by Imperial Letters Patent. This title continues to be held by Tim Bentinck and his heirs.


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

They have homes in north London and in Norfolk.

His sister Anna Bentinck is an actress.


Specific references:

  1. "University of East Anglia" (PDF). UEA. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  2. "Tim Bentinck Interview". MI6. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  3. "Tim Bentinck". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  4. "Tim Bentinck in University Challenge". YouTube. 2010-09-05. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  5. "BBC One - Celebrity Mastermind, 2012/2013, Episode 10". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-01-05. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  6. "BBC Two - Celebrity Eggheads, Series 5, Episode 8". Bbc.co.uk. 2012-12-19. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  7. "Battle of the Brave (2004)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  8. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  9. "The Watermill Theatre - Love Your Chocolates! - An Evening With Tim Bentinck". Watermill.org.uk. 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  10. "The Watermill Theatre - EDUCATING RITA". Watermill.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  11. "The Archers move to Sydney: Tim Bentinck heads down under | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  12. "Avant Garde A Clue eBook: Isskott Belsohn, Albert Welling, Timothy Bentinck: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  13. "Moonflesh". Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  14. "Battleground". Retrieved 2015-05-06.
  15. "A child support - United Kingdom Patent GB2201083". Patent.ipexl.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  16. "Tim Bentinck - Websites". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  17. "Tim Bentinck - Music Recordings". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  18. "Tim Bentinck - Travel". Bentinck.net. Retrieved 2013-08-14.
  19. Tim Bentinck at the Internet Movie Database
  20. Director: Ian Barber; Executive Producer: Lorraine Newman; Writer: Kim Revill (23 April 2013). "Episode dated 23/04/2013". EastEnders. BBC. BBC One.
  21. "BBC One: Reg". BBC Online. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  22. Ruvigny, Melville H. (2000) [1909]. The Nobilities of Europe. Adamant Media Corporation.

General references:

External links

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
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