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October 16, 2017

 

 

Winston Churchill’s Stand-in

 

It has been asserted that Churchill did not make any of his famous radio addresses himself, but that an actor spoke in his place. This rumor probably arose from one particular incident. Most of Churchill’s speeches before the House of Commons were recorded for later radio broadcast. However, his first as prime minister, the “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” address delivered to the House of Commons on May 13, 1940, was not recorded. Since Sir Winston was rather busy at the time—trying to form a government while the Netherlands was surrendering, Belgium was being overrun, and the French armies almost broken by the Nazi onslaught—an actor was asked to stand in for Churchill on the BBC. This was done once. All of Churchill’s other broadcasts were either live or prerecorded.

 

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