An Actor Read Churchill’s Wartime Speeches Over the Wireless.
Washington, DC. 1943. Winston Churchill broadcasts the news of the third anniversary of the English Home Guard while visiting the White House.
(Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS, courtesy of http://www.pbs.org/wnet.)
Winston Churchill is such a towering figure in history that numerous myths about him have taken root over the decades. One of those myths is this: actors mimicked Churchill’s voice and broadcast his famous speeches on the BBC after he had given them in Parliament. (There was then no recording equipment in the House of Parliament).
Since reputable historians repeated this myth as fact, I used to believe it myself. Only it isn’t true. Churchill did not enjoy broadcasting since he couldn’t see the audience of listeners and was simply speaking into a microphone in a recording studio. Not the ideal venue for him.
Nonetheless, Churchill personally broadcast all his speeches himself. Other times when he made brief comments on the BBC, he and only he broadcast those. No actor ever, not ever, presented himself to the BBC radio audience as Winston Churchill.
The source of this rumor turns to be a man of controversy, who purports to be a historian. He has written books on history which few professional historians have given credence to. In fact, he seems to delight in presenting myth as fact which I have read in various articles about him.
The entire story of how this myth came to be is here: