The Best British Narrators
If you're looking for an audiobook performed in a proper British accent, check out these listens from our favorite narrators from across the pond.
July 23, 2020
Authenticity is something many listeners value in their audiobook experiences, and that often boils down to narration style and accents. Although so many audiobooks are narrated by many talented actors with wide ranges, sometimes it's just nice to listen to an audiobook performed by someone in their native accent.
If you're searching for the best British narrators, look no further. We’ve done the tough job of picking just 10 of our favorite British narrators that you'll love listening to.
One of the most prolific audiobook narrators of the last 20 years, Simon Vance has narrated more than 700 audiobooks in all genres. He's the winner of multiple Audie Awards and has won Earphones Awards for more than 60 performances in addition to receiving Booklist's Voice of Choice honor. Some of his books include the Dune series by Frank Herbert, the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson, and Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall trilogy.
Fiona Hardingham has narrated everything from nonfiction to YA fantasy, romance to literary fiction. She's an actor and producer in addition to audiobook narrator, with roles in films including Pokémon Detective Pikachu and Godzilla: King of the Monsters. She's received several AudioFile Earphones Awards, an Odyssey Honor, and has been the narrator of one of YALSA's Top 10 Amazing Audiobooks. She often co-narrates YA fantasy with Steve West (The Scorpio Races, An Ember in the Ashes), and has narrated books by Sophie Kinsella, Fiona Barton, and Jojo Moyes.
You might recognize Richard Armitage from his roles in The Hobbit or North & South, but he's also a prolific audiobook narrator. He's recorded many Audible Originals and exclusives, such as The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wanderlust by Lauren Blakely, and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. He's been nominated for an Audie Award, and his performance of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: A Novel was an Audible Best Book of the Year.
Adjoa Andoh is a stage and screen actor who has performed with the Royal Shakespeare Company and appeared on British television and in the major motion picture Invictus. She's narrated more than 100 audiobooks, most notably Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, and The Power by Naomi Alderman. She's also voiced Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, for which the debut volume won the honor of being named The Guardian’s Best Audiobook of the Year.
John Lee is known for narrating some epic books: Ken Follett’s Kingsbridge novels, Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. He has won multiple Audie and Earphones Awards, was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, and is also an actor and producer. With more than 500 audiobooks under his belt, he has masterfully performed everything from epic fantasy to fascinating nonfiction.
Juliet Stevenson is an actress you may recognize from films such as Emma, Bend It Like Beckham, and Mona Lisa Smile. She's also the narrator of more than 100 audiobooks, from Jane Austen classics to contemporary best sellers such as Elizabeth Gilbert's The Signature of All Things. She's also a BBC drama voice actor who has been nominated for BAFTA awards four times, received the Laurence Olivier Award, and was honored with a CBE for her contribution to the arts.
Chukwudi Iwuji has only a few audiobook credits to his name, but has already distinguished himself as an excellent narrator. The British-Nigerian actor has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company as well as in film, radio, and television. He narrated Chigozie Obioma's novels The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorites, And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile, and I Will Always Write Back by Martin Ganda, Caitlin Alifirenka, and Liz Welch.
Simon Prebble has worked as a stage and screen actor, a television game show host and a voice-over actor—and is now a prolific audiobook narrator. He's narrated classics such as 1984 by George Orwell, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy, as well as contemporary works by Charles Todd, Dick Francis, and Peter Robinson. He's recorded more than 900 audiobooks, and has been nominated or has received nearly every audiobook award there is—Audies, Earphones, Golden Voice, and Best Narrator of the Year.
Cathleen McCarron is a voice coach with the Royal Shakespeare Company, so you know she has what it takes to be an incredible narrator. In addition to her theater work, she's narrated more than 50 audiobooks, most notably Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman, which earned her a nomination to the 2018 British Book Award for Best Audiobook, an Audie Award, an Earphones Award, and the Silver Award in the Radio Indies Group’s UK Audio Production Awards 2017. She's also narrated books by Philippa Gregory and many novels by Scottish crime writer Denise Mina.
Moira Quirk is an actor, comedian, and voice-over artist who has extensive experience in TV and animation, and got her start with full-cast audiobooks before turning to solo narrations. Since her breakout performance, she has recorded more than 80 audiobooks and won multiple Audie and Earphones awards. She has a broad range, and her titles include Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir, Gail Carriger's Finishing School and Custard Protocol series, and books by Audrey Coulthurst and Elizabeth Hoyt.
Tirzah Price is a writer and contributing editor at Book Riot.