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Noel Johnson
Actor Noel Johnson.jpg
recording Dick Barton
Noel Frank Johnson

(1916-12-28)28 December 1916
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Died1 October 1999(1999-10-01) (aged 82)
Llandough, Wales
Years active1941–1997
Spouse(s)Leonora Johnson (nee Peacock)

Noel Frank Johnson (28 December 1916 – 1 October 1999) was an English actor who is best known for being the radio voice of Dick Barton special agent on BBC radio and Dan Dare on Radio Luxembourg.


Johnson was born 28 December 1916 in Birmingham, England and attended Bromsgrove School,[1] where his fictional character Dick Barton was listed on the honours boards.[2] He married Leonora Peacock in 1942: they had one son Gareth Johnson. He died 1 October 1999.[1][3]


After wartime service in the Royal Army Service Corps, including evacuation from Dunkirk, he was invalided out, and joined the BBC Repertory Company in 1945.[1] He was the original voice of Dick Barton from 7 October 1946, performing over 300 episodes before quitting in 1949 to pursue a stage career.[4] He was paid £18 per week but felt that he deserved much more for such a popular character.[3] He returned to play Dick Barton once more in a special series in 1972.[3] In 1969 he appeared in a BBC seven-part David Ellis radio thriller called Find The Lady.[5] He later played Dan Dare on the Radio Luxembourg serial, but his name was kept secret.[1] His assured upper class voice cadence made him ideal for certain characters[citation needed], notably in the BBC Radio 4 dramatic adaptation of A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. This was broadcast as 26 one-hour episodes between 1978 and 1981; Johnson played the novel sequence's narrator Nicholas Jenkins, while the younger Nicholas was played by Gareth Johnson[citation needed] in the first 18 episodes. In the last quarter of the series – in which Jenkins is in late middle-age – Johnson plays Jenkins alone.[6]

His movie career included roles in Frenzy, The First Great Train Robbery, Withnail & I, and For Your Eyes Only, and numerous television dramas, including Dixon of Dock Green, Coronation Street, Out of the Unknown, Doomwatch, Death of an Expert Witness, Colditz, Rumpole of the Bailey, Doctor Who (in the serials The Underwater Menace and Invasion of the Dinosaurs), Inspector Morse and A Touch of Frost, amongst many others.[7][8]


Year Title Role Notes
1950 Highly Dangerous Frank Conway Uncredited[citation needed]
1951 Appointment with Venus Clark, R.N.
1951 The Case of the Missing Scene Crawford
1955 Little Red Monkey Det. Sgt. Hawkins
1963 The Partner Charles Briers
1972 Frenzy Doctor in Pub
1974 Frightmare The Judge
1974 The Swordsman Christian Duval
1975 Royal Flash Lord Chamberlain
1978 The First Great Train Robbery Connaught
1979 Licensed to Love and Kill Lord Dangerfield
1980 Love in a Cold Climate Lord Stromboli TV Mini-Series, 1 episode
1981 For Your Eyes Only Jack, Vice Admiral
1986 Defence of the Realm Club Member
1987 Withnail & I General


  1. ^ a b c d Gifford, Dennis (6 October 1999). "Noel Johnson" – via
  2. ^ Daily Mail 17 March 1947 p.3 "Dick Barton wins - at his old school!"
  3. ^ a b c Daily Mail 5 October 1999 p 18 "Noel Johnson, voice of Dick Barton, dies at 82"
  4. ^ Daily Mail 3 January 1949 p. 1 "Dick Barton Quits - but the show goes on"
  5. ^ "David Ellis - Find the Lady". BBC Radio. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  6. ^ "BBC Radio Adaptation".
  7. ^ "Noël Johnson". BFI.
  8. ^ "Noel Johnson".

External links

This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 19:20
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