Patrick Allen

John Keith Patrick Allen (17 March 1927 – 28 July 2006) was a British actor.

Patrick Allen
Patrick Allen 01.jpg
Allen in March 2005
John Keith Patrick Allen

(1927-03-17)17 March 1927
Died28 July 2006(2006-07-28) (aged 79)
London, England
Years active1952–2005
(m. 1960)

Life and careerEdit

Allen was born in Nyasaland (now Malawi), where his father was a tobacco farmer.[1] After his parents returned to Britain, he was evacuated to Canada during the Second World War where he remained to finish his education at McGill University in Montreal. He gained experience as a local radio broadcaster and appeared on television in plays and documentaries, before returning to Britain.

Returning to the UK in 1953, Allen made his film debut in Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder (1954). He subsequently appeared in character roles in many films, including Captain Clegg, The Wild Geese, The Sea Wolves, Puppet on a Chain, and Who Dares Wins.[2] He was also the lead actor in the Associated Rediffusion adventure series Crane (1963–65) and in the BBC-1 series Brett (1971). Allen played Moriarty's deputy Colonel Sebastian Moran in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

He made regular appearances in ITC television series during the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Baron, The Champions, Gideon's Way and UFO ("Timelash" 1971), although he never had an ongoing role in any of these series.[3] He made one episode of The Saint alongside Roger Moore in "The Man Who Could Not Die" broadcast July 1965 in the UK.[4]

Allen also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a number of stage roles, along with many BBC productions.

In 1967 he and his wife Sarah Lawson appeared together playing a married couple in the science fiction film Night of the Big Heat.[5] He and Lawson also played husband and wife in the BBC radio series Stand By For West based on the John Creasey novels about Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Roger West.[6]

Allen's distinctive, authoritative voice was familiar across the United Kingdom, even amongst those who did not recognize him as an actor.[7] He dubbed Leon Greene, who played Rex, in the 1968 Hammer film The Devil Rides Out.[8]

He narrated the British Government's Protect and Survive series of public information films in the 1970s; some of his lines in that production were re-recorded and sampled into the single "Two Tribes" by the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood. He was also the voiceover artist for Vic and Bob's comedy series Vic Reeves Big Night Out, The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars, and appeared in and voiced numerous commercials for house builder Barratt Homes and car manufacturers Ford and British Leyland among many others. His voice-over work led him to start up his own business, running a very successful recording studio for voice-over work.

Allen's voice was heard at the beginning of videocassettes distributed in the UK by Video Network in the 1980s, welcoming viewers and reading an anti-copying warning.[9] He also narrated the first series of Blackadder, and appeared in the last episode 'The Black Seal' as Edmund's nemesis, Phillip of Burgundy – known to his enemies as 'The Hawk'.

He provided the narration (the voice of Captain Star) for the 1989 children's series TUGS. Allen remained uncredited for his work, which was revealed in an interview with the show's producer Robert D. Cardona.

In 2005, he became the voice of the British television channel E4, providing voiceovers for many of its idents and promotions. Some of the slogans are rather irreverent. These include:

  • Only we has got Six Chuffing Feet (to advertise the final series of Six Feet Under)
  • Paris squashed against Britney in your gaff (to advertise The Simple Life and Britney and Kevin: Chaotic back-to-back; 'gaff' is British slang for 'home')
  • Big Shiny Films in your Dinky Little Home (to advertise films)
  • Chucking Spunky Tunes in Your Tellybox (to advertise E4 Music, the channel's music television strand)
  • Shamelessly importing Cool Stuff (referring to shows including Lost and the aforementioned Six Feet Under)
  • Watch the piggies squeal! (advertising Big Brother Diary Room Uncut)

In 2005, he did an altered re-recording of the Two Tribes version of the Protect and Survive narration for German cover band Welcome to the Pleasuredome, which is featured in their live performances.

Also, not long before his death, he narrated parody versions of these films for Kerrang! TV.

He was also the voice of the Christian O'Connell Breakfast Show on XFM, the late show on 103.2 Power FM, Hirsty's Daily Dose on Galaxy Yorkshire and briefly Virgin Radio.

Personal lifeEdit

Allen married actress Sarah Lawson in 1960, together the couple had two sons, Stephen and Stuart.[5][10]


Allen died on the morning of 28 July 2006 at age 79.[1] He is survived by his wife and two sons.[1]



  1. ^ a b c Obituary in Times online, 8 August 2006
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  5. ^ a b Vallance, Tom (8 August 2006). "Patrick Allen". The Independent. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
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  8. ^ Mitchell, Charles (2015). The Devil on Screen: Feature Films Worldwide, 1913 through 2000. p. 77. ISBN 978-0786446995.
  9. ^ Gale, Dan (7 March 2011). "70's and 80's VHS Distribution Logos". YouTube. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  10. ^

External linksEdit