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Bernard Who?: The Curious Tale of Bernard Cribbins’ Autobiography Audiobook

Here’s a lovely curio: the power of social media has resulted in Bernard Cribbins getting to record his autobiography as an audiobook.

Bernard Who?: 75 Years of Doing Just About Everything was released in hardback in 2018 then paperback in 2020. But his publisher apparently didn’t take up the rights to make an audiobook version — which Cribbins really wanted to do.

Co-writer, James Hogg, shared Cribbin’s frustrations on Twitter on 17th February in an attempt to generate support for the idea. A successful attempt, no less, because by the following way, Hogg returned to the social media platform to confirm that the rights have now been cleared, meaning Bernard will record an audio of Bernard Who?.

Hogg tweeted:

Believe it or not this has now been sorted out and Mr Cribbins WILL be recording the audiobook version of his autobiography, Bernard Who?, in the very near future. This is all because of the response to my original tweet and I’m incredibly grateful, as is the man himself x

It’s wonderful news for generations of fans, including us Doctor Who viewers who loved Cribbins as Wilfred Mott, Donna Noble’s grandfather and arguably a companion to David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor.

Here’s the blurb for Bernard Who?:

Bernard Cribbins’s life has been an eventful one. In 1943, he left school aged fourteen and joined Oldham Repertory Company where he earned fifteen bob for a seventy-hour week. After being called up for National Service in 1946 he became a paratrooper and spent several months in Palestine being shot at. On returning home, and to the theatre, Bernard was eventually approached by George Martin, then an A&R man for Parlophone Records, who suggested he made a record. Just months away from producing The Beatles, Martin asked Bernard to come to Abbey Road Studios in north London and, after teaching him how to sing into a microphone, they eventually recorded two hit singles – ‘The Hole in the Ground’ and ‘Right Said Fred’. These, together with appearances in now classic films such as Two Way Stretch and The Wrong Arm of the Law (not to mention a certain television programme called Jackanory), catapulted Bernard to stardom and, by the time he started filming The Railway Children in 1970, he was already a national treasure.

Since then, Bernard’s CV has been an A-Z of the best entertainment that Britain has to offer, and, thanks to programmes such as the aforementioned Jackanory, The Wombles, and, more recently, Old Jack’s Boat, he has become the voice of many millions of childhoods.

Seventy-five years in the making and packed with entertaining anecdotes, Bernard Who? tells the wonderful story of one of the longest and most celebrated careers in show business.

We look forward to hearing more about the audiobook; until then, you can buy Bernard Who? in paperback right now!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Bernard Who?: The Curious Tale of Bernard Cribbins’ Autobiography Audiobook

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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