Lord Ashdown has decided to embark on a potentially new stage in his already distinguished career by turning to the world of entertainment, and more specifically the relatively niche market of the voice-over. After achieving so much during his previous incarnations as a member of the Royal Marines for thirteen years, an intelligence officer and of course as leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 to 1999, he has decided at the ripe old age of 73 that there is yet another challenge he wants to pursue.
Ashdown has taken on board the advice of the agents who look after his best interests, to take a voice test with Soho Voices, a London-based company established in 2011 who specialise in providing voice-overs. After hearing his dulcet tones, they have recently unveiled the Lib Dem stalwart as their latest 'signing', suggesting that he would "bring real gravitas to any conversation".
They already include the likes of Dominic Littlewood on their books, the star of the television programme Cowboy Builders.
Although he is believed to not be expecting a sudden rush of job offers from the alternative career (hence, perhaps why he feels that it will not impact on his other political duties at this time), he has made it clear that anything that interests him will be given due consideration. The initial idea of his suitability for doing voice-overs came to his agents after he had provided an audio version of "The Cruel Victory", a critically acclaimed book he wrote about the forgotten stories of D-Day.
The timing is interesting at the very least, as he is currently the chairman of the party's 2015 election campaign, at a crucial period in the build up to that potentially country-changing event in terms of which party (or parties) will end up governing the nation. No doubt the man who was born in India and was once somewhat amusingly referred to as "Paddy Pantsdown" by the tabloids, after an affair came to light with his former secretary Tricia Howard, will have factored in his party obligations.