Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of Timothy Charles Robert Noel Bentinck, 12th Earl of Portland (b 1953)

The 12th Earl of Portland was born on a sheep station in Tasmania after his father, Count Henry Noel Bentinck, had given up his job as producer with the BBC to become a 'jackaroo'. After five years, the family returned to the UK, and Timothy was educated at Berkhamsted and Harrow Schools before moving on to study History of Art at the University of East Anglia.

In 1976 he decided to pursue an actor's life, attending the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He won the Carleton Hobbs Radio Award in 1978 and joined the BBC radio rep.

The 12th Earl's acting career has been continued and varied. He is perhaps best known for his voice - particularly on account of his role as David Archer in 'The Archers' and for his voice-over work. He has also worked extensively in the theatre and has a number of television and film credits to his name.

Alongside his acting, he has developed a career in the field of computing - undertaking programming and web site development work. He also writes plays, film treatments and books.

He inherited the earldom following his father's death in 1997.


In 1979 he married Judith Ann, daughter of John R. Emerson and has:

  • William Jack Henry (b 1984), Viscount Woodstock
  • Jasper James Mellowes (b 1988)

Archive Collections

  • There do not appear to be any archive collections containing papers of the 12th Earl of Portland.

Published Sources

  • Autobiography by Tim Bentinck, Being David Archer - And Other Unusual Ways of Earning a Living (Constable, 2017)
  • The 12th Earl has his own personal webpage.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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