Voice that en­chanted a gen­er­a­tion

Daugh­ter’s trib­ute to fam­ily man who loved to sing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Tom Her­bert tom.her­bert@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @TRHer­bert

THE Man be­hind the voice of Post­man Pat has died in Den­ham fol­low­ing a short bat­tle with liver can­cer.

Ken Bar­rie died peace­fully at home on Fri­day July 29, at the age 83.

His daugh­ter, Lor­raine Hulme Peter­son, con­firmed the news and told how her fa­ther was ‘a mas­ter of dif­fer­ent char­ac­ter voices’.

Not only did Mr Bar­rie en­chant a gen­er­a­tion as the voice of the friendly post­man, he also found suc­cess pro­vid­ing voiceovers for films and tele­vi­sion ad­verts.

Born Les­lie Hume in Stoke on Trent, he had a brief singing ca­reer record­ing with Em­bassy Records un­der the name Les Carle, and was known for pro­vid­ing singing voices for many big ac­tors in fea­ture films and on tele­vi­sion.

But he shot to fame in 1981 when he voiced the fa­mous post­man in the orig­i­nal 1980s tele­vi­sion se­ries. Mr Bar­rie also sang the theme tune and pro­vided voices for a num­ber of other char­ac­ters in the TV show.

The stop-mo­tion an­i­mated show, cre­ated by John Cun­liffe and di­rected by Ivor Wood in 1981, was about the ad­ven­tures of a post­man in the fic­tional val­ley of Green­dale, a lo­ca­tion in­spired by Longsled­dale in Cum­bria.

He reprised his role when a sec­ond se­ries was made in the 1990s, and in a re­booted ver­sion of the show which be­gan in 2004, be­fore hand­ing over the voice of Pat to ac­tor Lewis MacLeod.

His daugh­ter said that while he was not some­one who liked the idea of ‘be­ing bom­barded for au­to­graphs, it was lovely to see when chil­dren re­alised who he was’.

She added: “He’d do the voice and they’d be gob­s­macked.”

He was mar­ried to Doreen Pye Hulme un­til her death in 2009, with the pair hav­ing two kids, a daugh­ter Lor­raine and son Paul. His daugh­ter said he was a fam­ily man who was ‘most proud of the fact he looked af­ter his fam­ily well’.

She added: “He was al­ways a very re­served char­ac­ter who just saw it as a job.

“He was ap­proached to be man­aged and go a lot big­ger in the early days but he chose to de­cline be­cause he wanted to be there at home.

“His legacy is not so much Post­man Pat, he did a lot more and he loved singing af­ter start­ing in the late 1950s.”

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