Michael Angelis took over from Ringo Starr in 1991 and has remained steadfast and true to Thomas since then, providing the Storyteller role for all English-speaking territories outside of North America. When Ringo left, Angelis brought diversity to the role, providing numerous different accents, dialects and individual voices for each of the characters – over time, this did lack consistency, which he blames on the wide range of characters he previously had to voice.
Although never as famous as Ringo Starr, Angelis has had numerous television roles, most notably in the Liver Birds between Series 5 and 9, and in the revived Auf Weidershen Pet as villain Mickey Startup. More recent roles have seen him provide the voice of father ant in the Post Office advertisements and a carrot for McDonalds! He was married for a number of years to Coronation Street's Helen Worth (Gail Platt), but they subsequently split in 2001, and he has since remarried to model Jennifer Khalastchi.
While he has told more Thomas stories than anyone else, Angelis’ tenure has not always been smooth. He was due to provide the voices of Percy and James in Thomas and the Magic Railroad Movie in 2000, but was dropped when test-audiences in Los Angeles did not take to his voiceovers, and was replaced in 2007 by Pierce Brosnan, who was due to become the new storyteller for the series. Pierce’s appointment, however, was reduced to a Guest Storyteller role on The Great Discovery Special, and both Michael Angelis and Michael Brandon were reinstated for Series 12.
With the shifting changes made by HIT Entertainment for the series, Michael now only provides the narrative for the new CGI-based Thomas and Friends series and tie-in specials. However, he continues to provide full storytelling on ‘The Railway Stories’ CDs, where he narrates the Rev. W. Awdry’s stories.
Michael finally stood down from the series in 2012 after 21 years, following the production of Blue Mountain Mystery.