Just loving the voice on the phone
Ever been entranced by a beautiful voice on the phone? Don’t let your imagination run away with you, warns Maggie Gallop, vice chairman of the Norfolk Federation of WI.
I’ve been thinking recently about a man I met in March, Tim Bentinck. If you’re not an Archers’ fan you may not have heard of this actor (he has played David Archer for many years) but Tim was the main speaker at the WI’s annual meeting in Norwich earlier this year - and most entertaining he was too.
Prior to this meeting a friend said: “Can’t wait to see if David Archer looks like what I believe he does”. An odd statement, but I knew what she meant. It’s true, when we listen to the radio we image what the characters look like, it’s like reading a book - your imagination is allowed to let you set the scene and describe the people in it. Similarly, if you’ve read a book and then watch a film adaptation of it, the actors and actresses often don’t meet your physical expectations.
Telephone conversations with people you have never met can cause the same effect. Many years ago, my husband had a friend (just the one!) who would often phone him for a chat. When I answered the call, we would have a short conversation as if we knew each other, but at that point, we had never met - it’s called ‘being polite’.
This friend had the most fabulous voice, like melting chocolate, he was very well spoken and easy to have an idle conversation with. In my imagination, he was tall, handsome and a rather splendid fellow. Sometime later I had to pick up my husband from a meeting; I stayed by the door of the building until I saw him coming out and then, as I walked slowly ahead towards the car, I heard ‘him indoors’ having a conversation with someone, and then heard ‘that’ voice ... Yes, it was the tall, handsome voice from the other end of the phone. My curiosity got the better of me and I had to turn round to see. I shouldn’t have done that, should I? Disappointment can hardly describe my feelings - he was short (extremely) and a lot older than my fertile imagination had led me to believe. Gollum, the character from Lord of the Rings, came to mind. Well, that’ll teach me to have ‘thoughts’ about other men won’t it!
I often listen to Radio Norfolk in the afternoon, one of my favourites is Steven Bumfrey. I’ve never seen this man or have any idea of what he looks like. I like his voice and his jovial manner, but I’ve learned my lesson ... I shall not let my imagination loose on Mr B.
Actor Tim Bentinck is a memorable voice - he plays David Archer in The Archers on BBC Radio Four.