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Listen To Alan Bennett Read The Shipping Forecast On Radio 4

The leading playwright gave his voice to another British institution. Gale warnings in Leeds North.

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Alan Bennett – the playwright behind the History Boys and The Madness of King George – read the shipping forecast on Radio 4's Today programme.

REX USA/John Alex Maguire

Bennett was invited to read out the forecast by fellow Yorkshireman (and Monty Python member) Michael Palin, who was guest editing the BBC's flagship news programme.

Palin said it was "such a lovely rendition... the shipping forecast is rather poetic, it's beating the bounds of our country. Alan was unsensational but the words themselves - especially what was happening to Plymouth - were actually quite serious."

But be careful if you're planning on sailing a small fishing vessel through Viking, Cromarty or Fastnet today.

Bennett didn't actually read today's forecast so please be aware that cyclonic severe storms may now be in a different position.

If you want the real thing you can tune in every day at 12.48am or 05.20am on Radio 4's FM broadcast, or midday and 5.54pm on Radio 4's long wave frequencies.

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