These are some of the speaking voices in English I like the most, and that I regard as ‘models’ of good pronunciation, stress, enunciation…At some points in life, when I have had to do public speaking, I have reminded myself of some of them, thinking, for example: ‘you should show the same poise as Audrey Hepburn when you’re speaking’.

To my mind, their voices are a delight to listen to and might prove a model to imitate when speaking English.

Audrey Hepburn:

Sabrina (1954)

Brian May:

Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4)

Benedict Cumberbatch:

Sherlock (BBC 2010-2017)

The Imitation Game (2014):

Martin Freeman:

Jeremy Irons:

Brideshead Revisited (Granada TV 1981)

You can listen to a couple of interviews with Jeremy Irons here: Desert Island Discs (1986); Desert Island Discs (2006)

Emma Thompson

Much Ado About Nothing (1992)

Kenneth Branagh:

Look Back in Anger (1989):


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002):

This Cultural Life, BBC Radio 4 (interview-extract)

Nicole Kidman:

The Others (2001)

You can notice Nicole Kidman’s ability to change accent effortlessly in the first minute of this conversation with Hugh Grant to promote the TV show The Undoing (2020): 

Hugh Grant:

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Notting Hill (1999)

Stephen Fry & Hugh Laurie

‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ (1987-1995)

Kate Winslet:

Downton Abbey cast:

Michael Sheen: Welsh actor who, in spite of his classical training, seems to have specialised in portraying real-life characters. 

The Queen (2006)


Recently he’s teamed up with David Tennant (see below) for two series of ‘Good Omens‘ (Amazon Prime 2019-) and the hilarious ‘Staged‘: 

David Tennant: Scottish actor David Tennant makes frequent appearances on British TV. He usually keeps his Scottish accent, but sometimes he puts on a more neutral accent. 

Broadchurch (2013-2017)

Inside Man (2022): 


Tom Hiddleston

Jack Davenport:

Ten Percent (2022)

(Updated 23.10.2022)