Stephen Fry gives "solace for weary bottoms" as National Trust turns verbose star into bench

By Richard Moss | 31 May 2011
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a photo of wooden bench back
Felbrigg Hall property manager Ray Sandham relaxes with the Stephen Fry bench
© National Trust
Stephen Fry has expressed his hope that he provides “comfort, balm and solace for many a weary bottom” after the National Trust immortalised him as a talking bench at the their property Felbrigg Hall.

The Trust has unveiled eight benches voiced by celebrities including national treasure Fry, comedian Miranda Hart and presenter Claudia Winkleman.

The first ever talking benches are inspired by each of the celebrities and capture areas of natural beauty with their own personal audio odes and anecdotes.

The benches will be positioned at National Trust properties across England, Northern Ireland and Wales, giving seated listeners a five-minute audio commentary which aims tol bring the surroundings to life.

“To quote, or nearly quote, WH Davies, ‘What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to sit and stare?'” said Fry, whose bench will regale restful visitors with tales of filming A Cock And Bull Story at Felbrigg Hall. “I’m very proud to be associated with a bench."

Bench mates and their locations:

1.      Stephen Fry, actor and writer
         Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk

2.      Miranda Hart, writer, comedian and actress
         Cragside, Northumberland

3.      Claudia Winkleman, presenter
         Quarry Mill Bank, Cheshire

4.      John Sergeant, broadcaster
         Petworth House and Park, West Sussex

5.      Alain de Botton, philosopher and author
         Castle Ward, County Down

6.      Nick Baker, naturalist and broadcaster
         Cotehele, Cornwall

7.      David Gower, cricketer and commentator
         Calke Abbey, Derbyshire

8.      Iolo Williams, naturalist and broadcaster
         Dinefwr Park & Castle, Carmarthenshire

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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