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30 November 2021, 09:55 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 09:57
From singing with Vera Lynn to hosting ‘Pointless’, Classic FM presenter Alexander Armstrong has been entertaining the nation for over 20 years.
Alexander Armstrong is an actor, singer and comedian, and one of the nation’s most popular TV and radio presenters.
Known by many as one half of the BAFTA-winning comedy duo, Armstrong and Miller, Alexander is also the host of TV quiz show Pointless, which he has presented alongside former university friend Richard Osman since it began in 2009.
Six days a week, Alexander presents on Classic FM. He is the voice of mid-mornings, playing uplifting classical music to begin the day between 9am and 12pm, and on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm.
From Alexander’s family to his TV and movie appearances, and career in music, here’s everything you need to know about the chart-topping singer and presenter.
Listen on Global Player: Catch up with Alexander Armstrong’s Classic FM shows
Alexander Armstrong is best known for hosting the TV quiz show Pointless, alongside Richard Osman.
He is also one half of the TV comedy duo Armstrong and Miller, and has starred in TV series Life Begins and Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures.
He has also hosted the documentary series Iceland, in which he visits every corner of the land of fire and ice to experience the incredible sights and people.
Alexander Armstrong is a bass-baritone with a deep love for choral singing. Alexander was a choirboy at Durham Cathedral and choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he recorded several CDs with the choir. He had considered going on to study at the Royal College of Music, but then he met Ben Miller and turned to a career in comedy instead.
Singing has always remained central to Alexander’s life and career. In 2015, the much-loved TV host released his first classical album: A Year of Songs. The album is a collection of pieces that are special to Alexander, including Rothbury Hills – a song from the area in which he grew up – and Londonderry Air.
“I have never actually abandoned singing,” he explains. “I have sung at lots of friends’ weddings and family events to keep up my classical repertoire, and I get together with a music teacher every few months.” Every Christmas, Alexander sings a carol concert with his friends Sir Tim Rice and Kit Hesketh-Harvey.
On his Classic FM show, and through his role as ambassador for Cathedral Music Trust, Alexander champions beautiful choral music composed and performed in the UK.
“I owe my entire career to my experience as a chorister,” Armstrong has said. “It was where I learnt to perform, where I learnt to use the full range of my voice; where I learnt to listen, where I learnt to write comedy – but most importantly it was where I learnt the wonderful truth that something exceptional, something as beautiful as anything anywhere, can be created just by you and your friends.”
Alexander Armstrong has also turned his hand to acting and narrating. In 2017, he narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf alongside the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, under Vasily Petrenko. The orchestra praised the “welcome dry humour” that Armstrong brought to the recording.
Armstrong has released two other vocal albums: In a Winter Light (2017), recorded with the Choir of New College Oxford, and Upon a Different Shore (2016), his second studio album after A Year of Songs (2015).
On 27 August 2003, Alexander Armstrong married Hannah Bronwen Snow, who is mother to their four children: Henry, Patrick, Edward and Rex Armstrong. The family live together in Oxfordshire.
In an interview with The Guardian in 2017, the presenter said: “I have four boys aged 10 and under. Fatherhood is lovely but there is this slightly shocking moment when you realise it is not something you just wear and take off.”
He continued: “I am struggling to remember a time when any of my children have laughed at anything I have said. They are aware that humour has played a significant part in my career and I like to think they are looking forward to the moment they find their father funny. I think they find it faintly amusing that other people give me the time of day.”
In 2010, Alexander Armstrong discovered that he was a descendant of William the Conqueror, after appearing in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?.
Listen to Alexander Armstrong on Classic FM every weekday from 9am to 12pm, and on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm.