Teen BBC engineer who helped polish King's speeches

Friday January 28, 2011

The story of King George VI's struggle to overcome his stammer – as told in The King's Speech - looks set to sweep the board at the Oscars.

But as well as the help the monarch got from his unconventional speech therapist, it seems he had some extra assistance – from a teenage engineer.

Nineteen-year-old David Martin was working for the BBC when Winston Churchill asked the corporation to use the latest technology to polish the King's wartime speeches.

He wanted them sounding inspirational and stammer free – and it fell to David to remove stutters and pauses.

The engineer, who died two years ago, only told his relatives of his work during a family holiday in 1998.

After a few glasses of wine he began to speak about his work at the BBC.

His daughter, Jane Dickinson said they were "dumfounded".

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