Patrick Allen was almost certainly the most used and recognized voice of the 1970’s.
He was born in what was Malawi , where his father was a tobacco grower. Following his parents return to Britain, he was evacuated to Canada through out the second world war where he remained to conclude his education at the McGill University in Montreal. It was there he worked as a regional radio broadcaster and also performed on television in documentaries and some dramas, before his return to Britain.
When he came back to the United Kingdom in 1953, Allen made his first film, it was Hitchcock's ‘Dial M for Murder’ (1954). He next appeared in character parts in several films, including ‘Captain Clegg’, ‘The Wild Geese’, ‘The Sea Wolves’ , ‘Who Dares Wins’, ‘The Night of the Generals ‘(1967), and Alistair Maclean's’ Puppet on a Chain’ (1970)
He also starred in adventure series ‘Crane’ (1963–65) made by Associated Rediffusion and in the BBC TV series Brett (1971).
In addition Patrick played Moriaty's deputy Colonel Sebastian Moran in ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’.
Allen went on to act with the Royal Shakespeare Company in several stage roles.
He made customary appearances in many ITC television programmes during the 1960s and early 1970s, including The Baron, The Champions and UFO. Sadly though, he never had a main character role in any of these series, although he made one episode of ‘The Saint’ together with its star Roger Moore in the episode ‘The Man Who Could Not Die’ transmitted in July 1965.
During the 1960’s and 70’s Allen's distinctive, commanding voice was familiar to the television and radio audience across the UK although many did not necessarily identify him as a highly skilled actor.
He performed the voice over for the British Government's Protect and Survive series of instructional films in the 1970s, these films were made in the event of a nuclear attack. A few of his lines in were sampled and mixed into the hit song 'Two Tribes' by the group Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
In the 1970’s he was famous for voicing numerous commercials for house builder Barratt Homes and for the Ford Sierra, as well as countless other campaigns.
His voice-over work led him to set up his own company, running a thriving recording studio specialising in voice-over work.
He went on to be also the voiceover artist for Vic and Bob's first comedy series for Channel 4 Television ‘Vic Reeves Big Night Out’, and then for the BBC’s ‘The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer’ and ‘Shooting Stars’.
His voice was also heard on the first series of the BBC comedy ‘Blackadder’ also appearing in the final episode 'The Black Seal' as Edmund's arch-nemesis, Phillip of Burgundy - known to his adversarys as 'The Hawk'.
In 2005, he became the voice of the British television channel E4, being used for many of its promotions. Some of the slogans being rather flippant and sarcastic, matching the style and feel of the channel.
After Patricks death voice over artist Peter Dickson continued in Allen's style, sounding very similar but never quite matching the gravitas of Patrick’s delivery.