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The Voice

The Magazine on the Internet for Voice-overs
& Radio Commercial Producers


It was one day, early in the month, which made me suspect that August was going to be a duffer: several accounts departments rang to argue that my July Invoices were incorrect and took more off me that day than I actually earned. August proved, more than ever, that there is no pattern to our work anymore, and if it's been strange for voices just look at the job changes. Commercial Production has long been undervalued in the financial chain and perhaps, now, the love of making pictures in the air is no longer enough. The strain of the long hours, the need for a reasonable lifestyle, the new concentration of writers with no production skills and the loss of so many producer/engineer jobs is setting off alarms across the country, but will they be heeded? A concerted initiative to train new blood is essential now more than ever. Ed.

Debbie Gripton is leaving JMS's London Studio to join the C.O.I. as Producer UK Radio from 22nd September. Becky Whitcroft is leaving GWR South to be Senior Producer at Space Studios, London from September 5th. Steve Cripps has left GWR South to join Wise Buddah in London. Eddie Del�g is leaving Plymouth to join GWR South Creative Services. Dave Borthwick is the newest writer/producer at Metro Radio C.P. but no new appointee to replace Tim Craig as Senior Copywriter or Head of Department Martyn Healy who is moving to Piccadilly Radio with regional responsibility for Piccadilly, Radio City and Red Rose. Mike Bersin has resigned as EMAP's Head of Creative services with no destination known at present. Ali Ives has resigned as Head of Production at TFM and will also be taking some time out. Steve McFall is leaving Hallam to spend more time at the Bar (or studying for it - non-alcoholic, of course). Colin Platt has departed Heart in London in order to travel the world: his place is to be taken by Lincoln Fernandez. Paul Drogan is leaving Red Dragon to join programming at Heart in London. At the end of September Emily Cockett is on the move from Gemini to Plymouth Sound - her place is to be taken by Hannah Cook from Orchard FM, a graduate new to C.P who is to be trained in by Tim Fortune (let's hope there are many more!) Keith Dunn has not now joined Maggie Rigby at Creative Audio Production in Peterborough, that job has now been filled by Dean Smart (ex of Minster) and Keith has joined Sonoptics. Steve Paget has taken up post as Head of C.P. at the new Radio 106 FM in Nottingham and would like voices to send a fax [0115 9106 108] to update him with contact and ISDN numbers etc... but does not want to receive availability faxes. From the end of September the Century Radio production unit is breaking away from Alfasound to become locally managed. Dave Gilbank, ex-Piccadilly, is now working for The Radio Partnership.

The latest ISDN kit, the Roadrunner, is an economical, compact portable ISDN codec/mixer which allows full frequency up to 20Khz mono audio, has mic and line level mixing inputs and is fully bi-directional with in-built TA. Cost is �2,300 exc. delivery & VAT. Also of interest is the "EasyCall Prima", a remote, easy-menu driven, alternative user interface for the control of the CDQ Prima, with "Frame", "Call" and "Audio" LEDs. Full details from Nicral.

VOX '98
If you can bear to have as much fun again or bravely wear the shame of missing the first bash, then get your booking skills ready, 'cos it's on it's way...

"The Radio Event of the Year"

For writers, producers, voice-overs and all those involved in UK Radio Production, VOX '98 will take place on Saturday 6th June 1998 at the Chateau Impney Hotel, Droitwich. The '98 event promises to be bigger and better than this year.
Once again the event, organised by The East Sheen Repertory Company (Tony Aitken, Peter Dickson, Jackie Davis and Lois Lane), will be non-profit making and is sponsored by The Radio Magazine and LBS.
The event will take place at the elegant, luxury, four star Chateau Impney Hotel at Droitwich Spa, Worcs. The Hotel, set in 120 acres of beautiful grounds, is just a couple of miles from the M5.
Check in will be from 3.00 pm and there will be a Radio Forum/seminar with a panel of top writers and producers from 3.30 to 5.00 pm. A champagne reception will be followed by a four course gourmet dinner, accompanied by Dinner Jazz. There will be dancing in a special area until 1.00 am and the Cocktail Bar will do the necessary honours 'til late.
There will, of course, be provision for the Exhibition and Display of relevant services and information as well as a Showreel Showcase.
The price for those wishing to stay at the Hotel and indulge in the whole hog is from �64.95, including the full English for those who can face it on the morrow.
Full details and a booking form can be had by calling the VOX '98 Hotline on 0181 408 3680 and leaving your name and address etc.. Alternatively you can write to:-

VOX '98, Norfolk House, 298 Staines Road East,
Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AX.

You might be forgiven for thinking Rich Araminta was an after dinner treat or liqueur but, as the roll call of mums and babies grows The Voice wishes a hitherto over- looked congratulations to Tania and husband on the birth of their daughter. Also... Llongyfarchiadau (as we say in Wales) to Duncan and Sally Wells on the birth of their daughter on 21st August.

Jack Roberts, American voice-over has taken the plunge using the new CDQ Roadrunner, AT4033 microphone and Phonics desk.. Jack is on 01284 386751. Pager: 0336 745562.


by Chris White

Another dreaded call came in this morning. "Chris, I'm faxing you some audition copy..."
In the insurance business, every unsolicited telephone call an agent makes to a prospective client is regarded to be worth a dollar (what's that, three-quarters of a pound?) in future income. This is pretty much the way I regard auditions.
The most uncomfortable audition is reading the copy live over the phone to the client. When you call, they usually answer something along the lines of, "Thanks for calling. Could you hurry? I've got my mother on the other line."
Then you give it your best shot. You put your years of experience and training into the performance and the client says, "Well. That's ONE way you could read it, I suppose. I'll let you know."
The next to worst audition is when it is taped in the studio, and just before you read it the way you think it should be interpreted, the engineer cues up the tape and you hear another announcer auditioning for the same spot. And he is doing things with the copy that never occurred to you.
But the most fun is the shoot out. This is a combination of a cattle-call audition and gladiatorial combat. Everyone auditions until there is only one man left standing.
I was involved in one shoot out that was organised by my friend Bob Jump. It was my turn to enter into combat when Bob pulled me aside and did the meanest thing anyone had ever done to me. He said, "What ever you do, DON'T look at the client's hairpiece!"
So I walk into the studio to meet the client who turns out to have the worst rug in all Christendom. It looked like a sick squirrel was living on his head. Naturally, thanks to Bob, I can't keep my eyes off the thing. It was hard to concentrate, but I managed to hang in there.
But the episode did two things for me. One, it gave me the idea for a horror movie about a hairpiece that is possessed that would be called "Hell Toupee." And two, I got the gig which turned out to be a couple of years of national spots that were updated weekly.
Which is why auditions can be a hair-raising experience.

A full day workshop for pro. voice-overs is being held on Saturday 4th October at Infinity Recordings, The Old Rectory, Ombersley, Worcs..
The workshop will be conducted by top American voice coach Marice Tobias and will cover technique, a presentation on the state of our industry, ISDN and the global market, marketing and the Internet in relation to our futures.
The workshop is interactive and restricted to twelve places to allow greater concentration on individual performance. Marice will identify each person's voice-print and suggest ways of enhancing his/her technique and career. Infinity is donating it's studios for the day and will even provide a light lunch. The cost of the Seminar, which will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is �59.95.

To register call Helen Callow or Colin Day on 01905 823405.

A Tribute to Bill Mitchell
The Voice pays tribute to the late Bill Mitchell, a legend in his own lifetime. I only saw Bill once, standing at the back of a London Equity meeting. It was a bit like "Who was that masked man?". Bill was dressed from head to toe in black and wore a Black Stetson. I couldn't help but feel in awe of a man whose voice has growled and rumbled out of every radio in the country, a voice envied and copied by so many young voice-overs. Bill's recording sessions were legend: you never knew in which direction the script would deflect him. The sensible engineer and producer would just keep the tape rolling as the gems, broadcastable and otherwise streamed out. My favourite Bill Mitchell recording featured Bill voicing a series of Easter commercials which finished with "open on Good Friday". Having rubbished the typeface used on the script amongst other things, he finally got to the end of a script. "Good Friday?" He questioned. "Good Friday?" He queried further. "Jesus Christ. What was good about it? That's the day the guy bought it!" Bill Mitchell became an integral part of an era of UK Radio which is, sadly, slipping further and further away. Bill was a giant in the world of voice-overs as much so as his unmistakable voice.

V/Os and former TV Presenters Richard Hannah & Michael Groth have formed Maveric Associates, which will operate in the area of Radio and TV programme production, Corporate A/V productions and Multimedia interactive Distance Learning Software Development. Maveric has already picked up a commission to produce a comedy Drama for ITV, and Interactive multimedia work for AMS Inc. of California. "The corporate side is still very buoyant" explained Hannah". We are determined to use freelance talent wherever possible, so will be delighted to hear from readers of "The Voice" ". Contact details on

Which London Radio Station accounts department recently sent out a cheque to a VO simply made out to "Voice-over". Clearly we are all nameless before God!

Spotted in a C.V. that recently arrived on a producer's desk... "PERSONAL PROFILE: I am capable of working in pressurised environments..." Any deep sea production outfits out there desperate for staff?

Isn't it ironic that (probably) the most talked about Radio Group in the country at this time, in it's more humble past, used to have a sticker campaign which read "Listen, we're talking about you".


A little over half a reel of Ampex 456 tape.

2.7 seconds of airtime on Capital Radio.

A superbly crafted commercial, carefully and impeccably recorded by an experienced, highly qualified, professional voice-over - quickly and efficiently.

[Part of a campaign devised by Chris Denning for British Actors Equity Association]

Supplied by Tim Craig, Metro Comm. Prod. + additional material courtesy of Red Rose & Radio City
"Somebody has turned the temperature off."

All the Hotels I've called are Bully Fooked."

"My head was bleeding with blood."

"But that's philosophically logic."

"What size feet do you take?"

"Did you sort your head-rest out for your wedding?"

"I heard it at 5.30 and at half past."

"Would you like a cup of tea, Matt?"
- "I'd love a cup of tea, Mike."
- "Tea or coffee?"

"We normally record at 15 feet per second."

In a special September offer from YoPo Music, if you buy any CD from the YoPo Catalogue you can chose another CD for free. Titles include Music to Voice Over Take 1 and Take 2, Music for Film, Music for Classical Moments and Church Organ Music. The cost of a CD is �39.95 plus �2.50 postage [UK Mainland only] plus VAT and all CDs include a non-exclusive, all media, world-wide licence for no additional cost. Enquiries to on 01380 726831.

Direction of the last month...

"lean on the instantliness of the second paragraph"

another crack at Lottery stardom to... Martin Healy at Metro

A '80's sticker from the Ed's collection

Dear Ed.,

Hi - just found your wonderful site and thought you might enjoy hearing someone new gushing about it! I'm in Southern California and gearing up to try to join the voice-over fray out here (did a good bit back in North Carolina before remarrying and moving out here) -- and was searching the web for any words of wisdom, advice, etc. that there may be. And that's how I found you. You're my newest bookmark and I look forward to checking in regularly. Thanks for all your efforts! All best wishes.
Jan Spell Pritchard, San Bernardino, CA

158 pages of ISDN information
All codecs covered
Over 1200 ISDN users listed
Only �25 inc p&p (UK only)

Cheques payable to..Metro FM

Metro FM,
ISDN Book,
Newcastle, NE99 1BB
Phone 0191 420 0971
Fax 0191 496 1528

Publisher & Editor
Stephen Lyons, Cwmcaddon, Ochrwyth, Risca, South Wales NP1 6EL

No.1 Sept '95| No.7 June '96| No.8 Sept '96| No.9 Dec '96| No.10 April '97|
No.11 May '97| No.12 July '97| No.14 Xmas '97|