It is Cult Faction’s sad duty to report that Ken Barrie, the voice of children’s TV favourite Postman Pat, has passed away at the age of 83 years old.
The news was broke by his daughter Lorraine Hulme Peterson who revealed Mr Barrie passed away at his Buckinghamshire home after a short battle with liver cancer.
She told BBC News her father, who had a singing career with Embassy Records under the name of Les Carle, was “a master of different character voices” who also found success providing voiceovers for films and television adverts.
Barrie was born Leslie Hulme on 9th January 1933 in Tunstall, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire. Under the stage name Les Carle, he recorded for Embassy Records, an offshoot of Woolworths that released inexpensive cover versions of pop hits, between 1962 and 1965. He changed his stage name when a friend told him it was French for “the Charlies”, and took his new name of Ken Barrie from the names of his wife’s brothers. His own singing and narrating voice and whistling has been heard in many movies and television commercials, and included providing the voices of the Smash Martians. Barrie provided singing voices in various movies for many actors including Larry Hagman, George C. Scott, and Horst Buchholz.
He became the voice of Postman Pat in 1981, narrating the first series and also providing the voices of the characters Postman Pat, Ted Glen, Granny Dryden, Peter Fogg, Major Forbes, George Lancaster, Geoff Pringle, Alf Thompson, Reverend Timms, Arthur Selby, and Sam Waldron. A single of the theme song, credited to Barrie, reached number 44 on the UK singles chart in 1982, and re-entered the chart the following year. He also sang the soundtrack for Charlie Chalk and recorded the soundtracks for Sharks’ Treasure and Emily.