Contact Us

'The King's Speech' on National Public Radio - featured November 30, 2010

< Back to Previous Page


A grim string of events informed King George VI's stammer. His family forced him to become right-handed. His nanny starved him and regularly drove him to tears, for reasons of her own. By the time we meet the future king of England in Tom Hooper's film The King's Speech, the phrase "tightly wound" doesn't quite do his personality justice. A tense and guarded man, he comes off as distinctly unhappy.

Colin Firth, the actor who plays him, suspects he knows why: Before his stammer was properly addressed, the king's daily existence was painful for him.

"David Seidler, our writer, is someone who battled with a stammer for much of his life," Firth tells NPR's Robert Siegel, "and he described it as something which really is all-consuming. It's not just an inconvenience that you can isolate; he said it became the be-all and end-all of everything.

Read the Rest of this Article or Listen to the Audiocast on

Listen to a Second NPR Story on All Things Considered

Tags: News of the Week Stuttering Newsletter 3 December 2010