- “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 7 July 1940), known professionally as Ringo Starr, is an English 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, the All Starr Band. He was the first narrator for Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, narrating the first two seasons 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 (Carlin also redubbed the first two seasons).
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 Ringo 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.
- Before narrating Ringo 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.
- Ringo Starr recorded the narration for the first season 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.
- Ringo Starr returned to voice Thomas in the 2009 Children in Need charity single.
- He, George Carlin, Alec Baldwin, and Pierce Brosnan have hosted Saturday Night Live and made guest appearances on The Simpsons.
- He, Radovan Vaculík, Carlos Enrique Bonilla, Jorge Ornelas, Enzo Avolio, Víctor Delgado, Bohuslav Kalva, Daiki Nakamura, Aku Laitinen, Marjolein Algera, Jukka Voutilaninen, Shinobu Adachi, Pasi Ruohonen, Loretta Santini, Olga Hnidey, Don Nemitz, Bin Shimada, Reinder van der Naalt, Ángel Amorós, Gerardo Reyero, Luis Alfonso Padilla, Octavio Rojas, Louise Raeder, Humberto Vélez, Hadar Shachaf Ma'ayan, Chie Kōjiro, Samuel Harjanne, Keiko Toda, Nicolás Frías and Kari Tamminen also worked on "The Simpsons".
- He, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Eddie Redmayne were guests on "The One Show".
- On the BBC game show "Pointless", when asked who took over narrating the UK version of the series from Ringo in 1991, four out of the one-hundred people remembered that it was Michael Angelis.