He has one of the most distinctive voices in the country. His impeccable Queens English delivered in a mellifluous manner (go on, try and get mellifluous into a conversation in the pub), has graced TV advertising, the narration of Little Britain and is thought by some to be the second most recognised voice in the UK after HM the Queen. He has spent time as a Doctor, appeared in an episode of the Simpsons and played Rasputin. Who would have believed this from a kid who was born, bred and buttered in Scottie Road?
Tom Baker was born in Liverpool in the year 1934, but not a trace of the accent can be heard in any of the many many voiceovers he has done or in any of his dramatic roles. There is though, perhaps more than a hint of the archetypal scouse humour that shows through. His first great ambition in life was to become an orphan. Having witnessed the savage bombing campaign of Second World War Liverpool, he noticed that kids whose Mams had gone to heaven were always treated very well, and he fancied a piece of the action!
A short spell as a trainee monk preceded a spell in the army on National Service with the Royal Army medical Corps, where he developed a reputation as a bit of a wag, and had some memorable run ins with the Royal Military Police NCOs which are well documented in his autobiography.
After his time in the military, Tom decided upon a life as an actor and had various roles before his big break playing Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra directed by Franklin Schaffner. He was nominated for two of the prestigious Golden Globe awards for the role.
He is of course most famous for his portrayal of the fourth incarnation of Doctor Who. Characterised by the long scarf Tom has only recently been beaten into second place as the best Doctor by David Tennant. His seven year stint between 1974 and 1981 is the longest so far and saw a transition from quite straight laced Doctors into a more family friendly character, where he injected a lot of his humour into what at times could be very doom laden performances of the past. He also embarked on an ?office romance? with Lalla Ward who played his assistant Romana during his time as the Doctor and they shared a brief marriage together.
He is known as an outstanding wit (that scouse heritage again!) and his appearance on Have I Got News For You which was heralded by host Angus Deyton as the funniest guest appearance ever; and when he later guest hosted the show, he made a rare event of totally out comedying the normally hilarious Hislop and Merton.
Most people these days know Tom as the voice of Little Britain, a role he has undertaken since the early days on BBC Radio 4. He has always gently teased the ?youngsters? Lucas and Walliams and the host of bright young crew about their youth, and once said it was ironic that he was now being employed by the youngsters who were once watching him on the telly.
Still providing the voice of many commercials, Tom now lives with his third wife Sue Jerrard who had been an assistant editor on Doctor Who and they live in East Sussex.