- “Thomas is a smashing little engine - he's Number One and never lets anyone forget it!”
- ―Ringo Starr on his storytelling role
Sir Richard Starkey, MBE (born on 7 July 1940), known professionally as Ringo Starr, is a British drummer, singer, songwriter and actor best known for being the former drummer of the British pop-rock band the Beatles, and the leader of his own band, Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band. He was the first narrator for Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, narrating the first two series and playing Mr. Conductor on Shining Time Station. He left the show after 1989 to focus on his music career and tour with the All Starr Band, after which he was replaced by Michael Angelis in the UK and George Carlin in the US.
Awards and nominations
- Won - Oscar Awards - Best Music, Original Song Score, 1971 for "Let it Be" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Won - Grammy Awards - Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special, 1971 for "Let it Be" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Inducted - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 1988 as a member of The Beatles with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Won - Grammy Awards - Best Music Video - Long Form, 1997 for "The Beatles Anthology" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Bob Smeaton, Geoff Wonfor, Chips Chipperfield and Neil Aspinall.
- Won - Walk of Fame - Recording, 2010.
- Won - Award For Musical Excellence, 2015 - From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo career.
- Knighted - By Prince William of England for his contributions to music, 2018
- Nominated - Golden Laurel Awards - Musical Performance and New Faces, Male, 1964 for "A Hard Day's Night" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Nominated - Golden Laurel Awards - Musical Performance, Male, 1965 for "Help!" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Nominated - British Academy Film and Television Awards - Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles, 1965 for "A Hard Day's Night" shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
- Nominated - Daytime Emmy Awards - Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series, 1989 for "Shining Time Station".
- According to Britt Allcroft, she chose Starr as the narrator after hearing his voice on television and thought children would relate to him. Allcroft denied he was chosen because of his Beatles fame, since she was not a fan of the band at the time.
- Starr originally declined narrating the series since he did not read any of the Railway Series books at that time. However, after reading the books, he decided to narrate the series.
- Starr recorded the narration for the first series in eight days. That includes re-doing four episodes due to the tone of his voice.
- He also recorded narration for the Ladybird audio books.
- Starr returned to voice Thomas in the 2009 Children in Need Charity Single.
- On the BBC game show "Pointless", when asked who took over narrating the UK version of the series from Starr in 1991, four out of the one-hundred people remembered that it was Michael Angelis.