Story Time Stars: 11 Celebrities And More Reading To Your Family During Lockdown

Avneet Bains
Dec 12, 2023 By Avneet Bains
Originally Published on Jul 15, 2020
Girl reading in tent
Age: 0-99
Read time: 5.6 Min

According to a survey by The Reading Agency, 31% of people in the UK are reading more during lockdown than ever before.

Part of a growing trend, well-known celebrities from Daniel Radcliffe to Michelle Obama are taking part by reading books aloud, making storytime all the more enjoyable.

Read on to find out more!

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama Reading Stories

Image © Popsugar

Michelle Obama is an American lawyer and writer who is married to Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

As part of a four-week series called "Mondays with Michelle Obama", she has been sharing some of her favourite children's books, in collaboration with PBS Kids, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books.

Reading family favourites such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar to The Gruffalo, make sure to listen to her expressive storytelling as part of your reading routine with the kids.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is an English actor and producer who has starred in hit TV series Peaky Blinders as well as fantastic films such as Venom, a movie all about the renowned Spiderman villain.

Since 2016, Hardy has been featured on CBeebies' Bedtime Stories where celebrities read stories to help the little ones relax before bedtime. During lockdown, he has been featured for an entire week, bringing much enjoyment to all the family (and maybe even more so to parents...).

You can find CBeebies' Bedtime Stories on Kidadl TV, where many other celebrities from the fabulous Alesha Dixon to Captain America himself (aka Chris Evans) have also shared their fave reads, so make sure to check it out!

LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton is an American actor, director and author who has also been joining in on the fun by storytelling live on his Twitter. The star of hit TV shows from Roots to Star Trek, Burton has started his live show #LeVarBurtonReadsLive.

Reading books for children on Mondays, young adults on Wednesdays and of course for the adults on Fridays, there is something for all the family to tune in to.

He also has his own podcast series LeVar Burton Reads, so there are a whole lot of audiobooks to get your hands on.

Sir Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart Reading Stories and Sonnets

Image © The Londonist

Keep it classic with Sir Patrick Stewart.

One of the most iconic British actors, producers and directors, Sir Patrick Stewart has featured on stage, television and film for over sixty years in productions from the X-Men and Star Trek to top West End shows.

He has been sharing #ASonnetADay, sonnets written by William Shakespeare, on his Twitter (@SirPatStew) daily. Onto his 53rd sonnet as of May 13th, Sir Patrick has plenty of classics to pick and choose from as Shakespeare has written well over one hundred.

David Walliams

David Walliams is a well known English comedian, actor and writer who might be a familiar face to you as a judge on ITV's Britain's Got Talent.

A well-known children's author, his works range from the cool Gangsta Granny to a story about the world's richest kid, Billionaire Boy. In a series called "Elevenses", Walliams has released audio clips of himself reading his tales, which you can find on his website.

If your kids are fans of Walliams, then make sure to check it out quickly as the chapter recordings disappear after a week so! What are you waiting for?

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Reading Stories

Image © Pink News

Country music legend Dolly Parton has also joined in with other celebrities, sharing a children's bedtime story every Thursday in Goodnight with Dolly for your little ones to enjoy.

The '9 To 5' singer will be reading books aloud for ten weeks with three episodes left to go live, including her own books such as Coat Of Many Colours.

With reading suggestions, activity sheets, and even audio tracks of herself singing, Dolly has created an immersive bedtime experience for the whole family to enjoy!

Michael Chabon

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon has begun his own series titled "Story Time with Michael Chabon",  where he reads aloud some of his favourite children's storybooks on Youtube and Instagram (@michael.chabon).

From Olivia to Where the Wild Things Are, Chabon brings great joy through his enthusiasm. Those who are a bit older may also enjoy his more adult storytelling in the form of Star Trek: Picard, where he is the showrunner.

Go ahead and listen to his enchanting storytelling!

Harry Potter Read Through

Do you have a little witch or wizard in the house? Fancy a trip down memory lane with a modern British classic?

Well, tune in to the Harry Potter Read Through on! Starting with the spellbinding Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter himself, take the family on a magical journey following the Golden Trio and friends as they make their way through magic lessons and mishaps whilst facing He Who Must Not Be Named.

You can also listen to the audio version on Spotify via Harry Potter At Home: Readings.


Celebrities reading stories during lockdown

Image © Indy's Child

Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, two amazing charities, have teamed up with the equally amazing American actresses Amy Adams and Jennifer Garner to fundraise for those in need during lockdown.

Amy Adams, well known for her role in Disney's Enchanted, and Jennifer Garner, who has starred in family films like Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, have launched the campaign in the US.

On Instagram and Facebook (@savewithstories), you and the family can watch videos of some of your favourite celebrities reading your fave books, from Kate Winslet to Mindy Kaling and even Meghan Markle. So grab a cuppa, enjoy and if you can, do donate!

Josh Gad

Do you want to build a snowman? Is your little one a fan of Frozen, and perhaps an even bigger fan of Olaf?

Well Josh Gad, the voice behind the beloved Disney character, is providing much-needed relief during the lockdown.

A well known American actor and comedian, you can catch him reading on his social media @joshgad.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman, the acclaimed English author who has brought us masterpieces for every age from Stardust to Good Omens, shared the first chapters of his beloved tale Coraline in collaboration with the New York Public Library.

Others such as LeVar Burton to Dakota Fanning, well known for her role in Charlotte's Web back in 2006, are also included in the line up of the read-through.

Listen to these fantastic tales and enjoy storytime as a family!

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Written by Avneet Bains

Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Science

Avneet Bains picture

Avneet BainsBachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Science

After graduating with a degree in Liberal Arts and Science from the University of Birmingham, Avneet has developed a passion for history and loves to spend time adventuring with family and friends. Her love for exploring new places began at a young age, and she has traveled to many far-off destinations, including her ancestral village in India and the Golden Temple in Amritsar. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and reading.

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