Sir David Attenborough has the UK’s favourite celebrity voice, according to a survey.
The whispering tones of one of Britain’s most prized national treasures has featured on countless nature programs on the BBC and Sky for over 60 years.
Stephen Fry’s comforting voice came second in the poll of 2,000 UK adults, followed by the iconic Bond actor Sir Sean Connery.
While Joanna Lumley, famed for her role in Absolutely Fabulous, and star of the silver screen Dame Judi Dench came fourth and fifth respectively.
It also emerged 43 per cent believe being instantly recognisable is what makes these celebrities so iconic.
Whereas 27 per cent appreciate their favourite celebrity voices because they are quintessentially British.
Professor Silke Paulmann, head of Psychology Department at University of Essex and spokesperson for Jakemans, which commissioned the research, said: “Our voice is as unique as our fingerprint – it forms part of our identity and signals so many facets of us, including information about our age, sex, and personality.
“But it is also a powerful tool in that it tells others how we feel, from expressing anger to love.
“And when we listen to someone else’s voice, a range of feelings can be elicited in us. A calming, soothing voice helps us overcome upset and a powerful, motivational voice can get us going when we need some encouragement.
“The beauty of the voice is that it doesn’t require us to pay close attention to it either.
“Our brain picks up on voice cues within milliseconds and we form impressions about others based on these cues.
“And in the UK, we are blessed with an array of celebs whose voices really need no introduction. All of those who have placed highly in this list have the power to transport you to a different world just by uttering a few words.”
Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) find a celeb’s voice plays a significant role in their overall appeal and success.
And 78 per cent feel an iconic voice can be a powerful tool to spread important messages.
When considering what makes a good voice in general, 37 per cent said being distinctive is an important characteristic, while 27 per cent want to be captivated by it.
Whereas 22 per cent believe soothing tones are essential – and 79 per cent claim a calming voice can put them at ease.
Professor Silke Paulmann added: “The results of the survey nicely align with existing research which shows how powerful voices can be.
“In addition to affecting our wellbeing, voices can also affect our behaviour: listening to a soft, encouraging sounding voice can make us feel good and comply with instructions, while a harsh, pressuring sounding voice can make us feel anxious and react with defiance.
“However, sometimes our voice can be impacted by factors outside of our control like the weather or illnesses, and we lose the ability to communicate in our unique way that is fundamental to our identity.
“It’s incredibly important to protect our voice, as without it, we lose a part of who we are. Staying hydrated or resting our voice when we can are great ways of protecting it.”
In fact, nearly six in 10 (59 per cent) of those polled via OnePoll have experienced a voice-related health issue – with 31 per cent of these being forced to take time off work or cancel social commitments due to the problem.
As a result, two in three (67 per cent) of these said they only truly appreciated their own voice after losing it for a period of time.
When remedying issues such as sore throat, hoarseness or loss of voice, throat lozenges are the most popular choice of treatment.
And 55 per cent will rest their voice as much as possible on the road to recovery, with 46 per cent keeping it hydrated.
Elizabeth Hughes-Gapper from Jakemans added: “As many Brits have realised, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone – and that’s certainly the case when it comes to your voice.
“But like any part of the body, it is so important to look after and rest your voice as well, especially if you’re feeling under the weather.
“Which is why we want to support people with our lozenges that release natural menthol vapours to soothe the symptoms of a sore or tickly throat, helping to keep airways clear.”
Top 25 British celebrity voices:
- Sir David Attenborough
- Stephen Fry
- Sir Sean Connery
- Joanna Lumley
- Dame Judi Dench
- David Tennant
- Michael Caine
- Liam Neeson
- Sir Trevor McDonald
- Sir Tom Jones
- Brian Blessed
- Idris Elba
- Sir Ian McKellen
- Hugh Grant
- Tom Hardy
- Maggie Smith
- Nigella Lawson
- Dame Helen Mirren
- Daniel Craig
- Graham Norton
- Julie Andrews
- Ewan McGregor
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Elton John