Not long after discovering Richard Armitage, I stumbled across his lovely Bedtime Hour children’s storytelling episodes on YouTube, and soon after I had my daughter hooked, too. She’s three years old, and a proud member of the Armitage Army, CBeebies Division.
In keeping with the CBeebies script, Richard always starts off with “Hello, I’m Richard.” I’m not sure whether it’s his British accent that throws her, or just a kid thing, but she’s believed his name is “Swisher” from the get-go, and insists that we both call him by the especially sexy moniker of “Swisher Twinkle Stars”.
* * *
Several months ago, Hubby emerged from our daughter’s bedroom after reading her bedside story, completely baffled.
Hubby: “Have any idea what she means by ‘Swishers Stories’?”
I feigned confusion. “‘Swishers’?”
Hubby: “She made several requests for ‘Swishers Stories’… but I looked at every title on both kids’ shelves and I have no idea what that…
original question: Kiddie movie I still shamelessly enjoy
modified to: CBeebies episode I enjoy most
Answer: I’m Not Going Out There!
Reading books to children should be fun, for both the child you’re reading to, and you as well; Richard illustrates this wonderfully when reading for CBeebies! The first time I showed my daughter Richard reading these stories, she said that’s how I read to her as well; I didn’t know whether to feel flattered or embarrassed, that I read out loud that animatedly…
I’m nowhere near as talented as we know Richard to be, so I don’t come up with distinct voices for each character
(mostly because I can’t keep them all straight!)
I just adjust my timbre to designate different speakers instead.
In this episode, I like how Richard starts out by saying
that he likes dragons
and that monsters make him laugh;
it’s a playful reminder that this isn’t anything to be afraid of.
Aside from the voices and dramatics though, I just genuinely like the story! The way it seems to be building up into something scary but never really gets there because of the silly ghost and other characters
(also, I just love to hear Richard say “dirty underwear” 😛 )
and then the way the story has that twist at the end.
I find it all
really cute 😀
(non-Armitage answer: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory; Gene Wilder version 😉 )
Once I had made the decision to find out more about this Richard Armitage fellow and looked up his mini-bio and list of film works on IMDb, I turned to Google. First, to figure out how the heck to pronounceLeicester, then to find a decent fan-site that would hopefully tell me the kinds of things I wanted to know.
Photo galleries, Print and Video archives, Audio extracts and downloads, Previews of his film work; OH MY! I’m a visual person (shocking, I know! ) so my first stop was the Photo Gallery. I skipped over the individual film projects, since I had no idea what any of them were yet, and focused on the Photoshoots.
As I browsed, I found some that have become lasting favorites
While others, I would just have to come around to.
Next I moved on to the Print archives. This is my favorite way to become familiar with an actor. You can watch them grow and progress as a person, and track their career as it unfolds before them. I found an interviewfrom the North & South era, that fit what I was looking for. It told me he was Modest. It told me he was Polite.
It told me he was Self-Depreciating, Considerate, Solitary, Introspective, Valued his Roots, and Always wanted to Put his Best Foot Forward.
To say I was intrigued by this point was an understatement. I then hunted down a few Video interviews. Instantly I latched on to this one:
I admired his poise and focus, and the way he seemed to sift through his mind to find the answer he was searching for and showing us clearly the moment he had found it. When he gave the little quip about practicing his horse riding skills with the action figure, I knew I was hooked! An unassuming dry sense of humor will win a place in my heart every time.
This North & South video interview was next:
When Richard talked about his research, and the importance of costumes and their biographies, it became clear to me that he shared my passion for giving good stories the respect they deserve.
Then came CBeebies. He reads bedtime stories to kids?!
This endeared him to me straight away. I then moved on to the Audio section.
I picked A War Less Ordinary. When I heardCode Poem for the French Resistance, I wept real tears. So Beautiful. The poem, his enunciation, the VOICE! It wasn’t a superficial physical reaction I was having towards Richard Armitage; I was learning him from the inside out.