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I am quite choosy which programmes I narrate...but I was intrigued by the remarkable dinosaur discoveries made in the last ten years.

– John Hurt on why he chose to narrate Planet Dinosaur.

John-hurt

John Hurt.

John Hurt
is the narrator of Planet Dinosaur, and several television commercials, such as Sky. He played Mr Ollivander in several Harry Potter films.

Early Life

Childhood

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John Hurt was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, when his father was vicar of Shirebrook.  He is the son of Phyllis (née Massey), an amateur actress and engineer, and Arnould Herbert Hurt, a mathematician who became an Anglican clergyman.  Hurt has an older brother, Br. Anselm (born Michael), a Roman Catholic convert who became a monk and writer at Glenstal Abbey, to whose books his younger brother John has contributed.  Hurt also has an adopted sister, Monica.  Hurt's father was a vicar at St John's Church in Sunderland. In 1937, he moved his family to Derbyshire, where he became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen's Church in Woodville, Derbyshire and remained there until 1952.  In 1945, Hurt's father founded 1st Woodville (St Stephen's) Scout Group which is still going strong today.  Hurt had a strict upbringing: the family lived opposite a cinema, but he was not allowed to see films there. He was also not permitted to mix with local children because in his parents' view they were "too common."  Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.

Hurt's father was a vicar at St John's Church in Sunderland. In 1937, he moved his family to Derbyshire, where he became Perpetual Curate of Holy Trinity Church. When Hurt was five, his father became the vicar of St Stephen's Church in Woodville, Derbyshire and remained there until 1952.  In 1945, Hurt's father founded 1st Woodville (St Stephen's) Scout Group which is still going strong today.

Hurt had a strict upbringing: the family lived opposite a cinema, but he was not allowed to see films there. He was also not permitted to mix with local children because in his parents' view they were "too common."  Hurt's mother died in 1975, and his father died in 1999 at the age of 95.

Education

At the age of eight Hurt was sent to the Anglican St Michael's Preparatory School in Otford, Kent, where he eventually developed his passion for acting. He decided he wanted to become an actor, and his first role was that of a girl in a school production of The Bluebird (L'Oiseau Bleu) by Maurice Maeterlinck. While he was a pupil at the school, he was abused by Donald Cormack (now deceased), then Senior Master of the school and later Head Teacher (until his retirement in 1981).  Hurt described how Cormack would remove his two false front teeth and put his tongue in the boys' mouths, and how he would rub their faces with his stubble. Hurt said that the experience affected him "hugely.  "Hurt's father moved to St Aidan's Church in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. Hurt (then aged 12) became a boarder at Christ's Hospital School (then a grammar school) in Lincoln, because he had failed the entrance exam for admission to his brother's school. Hurt often accompanied his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, laughed when Hurt told him he wanted to be an actor, saying "you wouldn't stand a chance in the profession.  "Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959 Hurt won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher's Diploma (ATD) at Central St. Martin's College in Holborn, London. Despite the scholarship, paying for his studies was financially difficult, and so he persuaded some of his friends to pose nude and sold the portraits. In 1960 he won a scholarship to RADA where he trained for two years. He was then cast in small roles on TV.

Hurt's father moved to St Aidan's Church in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. Hurt (then aged 12) became a boarder at Christ's Hospital School (then a grammar school) in Lincoln, because he had failed the entrance exam for admission to his brother's school. Hurt often accompanied his mother to Cleethorpes Repertory Theatre, but his parents disliked his acting ambitions and encouraged him to become an art teacher instead. His headmaster, Mr Franklin, laughed when Hurt told him he wanted to be an actor, saying "you wouldn't stand a chance in the profession."

Aged 17, Hurt enrolled in Grimsby Art School (now the East Coast School of Art & Design), where he studied art. In 1959 Hurt won a scholarship allowing him to study for an Art Teacher's Diploma (ATD) at Central St. Martin's College in Holborn, London. Despite the scholarship, paying for his studies was financially difficult, and so he persuaded some of his friends to pose nude and sold the portraits. In 1960 he won a scholarship to RADA where he trained for two years. He was then cast in small roles on TV.

In Planet Dinosaur

The juxtaposition of the story and the scientific developments is very good, it’s really well done!

– John Hurt's views on Planet Dinosaur.

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