Julia Lang (actress)

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Julia Lang was a film and radio actress and radio presenter. Born in London, she is best known for presenting the BBC radio programme Listen with Mother.

The theme music for the programme was the Berceuse from Gabriel Fauré's Dolly Suite for piano duet, Op. 56. A recording was often used but in an Anglia Television interview in the 1990s, Lang said that during her tenure, when she had finished reading the story, she had to get up (noiselessly), rush across to the piano in the studio and play the Berceuse live.

She married William Shine in 1942. They appeared together in the 1948 film The Red Shoes as "a balletomane" and "a balletomane's mate". Their marriage was dissolved in 1949. She had a son, Stephen.[1][2]

Lang died on 1 April 2010 at the age of 88 in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.[3]

On-screen appearances[edit]



  • Coronation Street (episode aired 1977) as Ethel Pratt
  • Sad Story of Henry (aired in 1953) as narrator

"Are you sitting comfortably?"[edit]

Each story on Listen with Mother opened with the phrase "Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin." (sometimes "...Then we'll begin")[5] The question, originally an ad lib by Julia Lang on 16 January 1950, became so well known that it appears up in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations[6] It has been referenced countless times and sometimes by sampled musicians.



  1. ^ "Obituary of Bill Shine". The Independent. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  2. ^ Free BMD
  3. ^ "Death". Westmorland Gazette. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Aveleyman.com". Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Are You Sitting Comfortably?". Random Radio Jottings. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  6. ^ "January Anniversaries: Listen with Mother 16 January 1950". The BBC Story. Archived from the original on 2014-01-09.

External links[edit]