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7 May 2019, 12:54
From singing with Vera Lynn to hosting ‘Pointless’, Classic FM presenter Alexander Armstrong has been entertaining the nation for over 20 years. Here’s all you need to know about his background in music, presenting and comedy.
Alexander Armstrong, one half of the BAFTA-winning comedy duo Armstrong and Miller, is an English comedian, presenter and singer.
A quiz master and polymath, Armstrong is the host of the TV quiz show Pointless, which he has presented alongside former university friend Richard Osman since it began in 2009.
Since September 2014, he has also been the voice of Saturday and Sunday afternoons on Classic FM, presenting from 1-3pm on both days.
From his children to his career in music, here’s everything you need to know about the chart-topping singer and presenter.
Alexander was a choir boy at Durham Cathedral and choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge – where he recorded several CDs with the choir. He was considering going on to study at the Royal College of Music, but then he met Ben Miller and turned to a career in comedy instead.
But Alexander has always been passionate about singing. 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.” And every Christmas, Alexander sings a carol concert with his friends Tim Rice and Kit Hesketh-Harvey.
The TV host 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’ 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 weekend, from 1-3pm on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Send him a message here.