MAKING WAVES FROM
WIMBORNE TO RADIO 1
It can be tricky explaining to people I meet that my career is my ‘voice’. Being a British Voiceover is not a normal vocation like a mechanic or doctor. Mentioning it has raised a few eyebrows or foxed those who’ve asked. I’ve always known that audio in some form was going to shape my working life. You hear vets saying that they cared for animals from a young age, it was a similar situation for myself and radio.
Thankfully for me, my dad knew that I aspired for more than picking locks and told me about a position he had seen advertised at 2CR. The job was an ‘Audio Controller’, not something I knew much about, but not an opportunity I wouldn’t let getaway. I did my research, went to the library, got books about recording techniques and visualised myself working in a studio environment. My good friend at the time Tanya (now my wife) helped me with the application.
I remember the interview well, Paul Seed showed me around the station and my excitement and enthusiasm must have been off the chart. The same feeling a pilot must get when they first sit in the cockpit, my ‘lightbulb moment’. It was then I definitely knew I was born to work in and around studios. It was fantastic, I was where I wanted to be and things were really happening for me. Eventually, I was promoted to ‘Commercial Producer’ making ads. During this time I began voicing local radio commercials for venues such as ‘Bumbles Nightclub’ which is now ‘Canvas’. I became known for the Bumbles tagline I’d voice on a weekly basis “Now is the Time!”
ONE Big Opportunity
Luck is when hard work meets opportunity and unique circumstances led to me doing a voiceover gig for the BBC. Their voiceover person had let them down and so I stepped up to the plate announcing, “Judge Jules live at Creamfields on Radio 1”. Around this time, Wise Buddah had started a voiceover agency and representing me they were putting promo and commercial work my way. I started writing music for television and got involved with MTV doing their Party Mixes as well as producing imaging for DJs such as Carl Cox and Roger Sanchez.
Towards the end of 2002, I went freelance and invested in kit which would allow me to do my own voiceover work a home. During this time, I approached the Head of Imaging at Radio 1 with some production music I had written. Cheekily asking if I could also submit a voice demo, he laughed, said they didn’t need a new voice at the moment but send the demo anyway. I did and a few days later he invited me to record a demo session. Initially, this led to me being the weekend imaging voice on the station, but after a couple of months, I became the ‘Station Voice’ of Radio 1. I really felt like I had ‘arrived!’
That opportunity was one of the proudest moments of my life and to date the pinnacle of my career. A dream realised. I once had a conversation with a friend on a petrol station forecourt where they said: “you know you’ll be on Radio 1 one day”. And there I was – in multiple ways! I had developed my skills in imaging, programme-making, show production, music composition and voiceovers. This was all invaluable experience and I’ll be forever grateful to the guys at Wise Buddah for giving me the support and opportunities that I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.
Back to My Roots
A pivotal change came when I got back in touch with my old school friend Tanya (via Friends Reunited). For any youngsters reading, this was THE social network before Facebook etc. I ended up moving back to my hometown of Wimborne. The Calypso Voice agency signed me up and I began making frequent trips to London for TV, Radio and commercial bookings. I built up a solid portfolio and continued to voice station imaging for the likes of London’s Kiss 100. Discovering that I didn’t need to be in the city to work in broadcast I quickly got to work promoting my services with a new studio and continued producing and voicing in my own studio in Dorset.
Currently: A British voice on a global platform
More recently I have been focusing purely on voiceover side of things. Tooled up with high-quality recording gear my work is versatile and spans radio and TV commercials, promo and imaging, live events, continuity, IVR and corporate gigs. Clients past and present include : BBC, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Red Bull, Virgin Media, Superdry, o2, Nickelodeon, Nivea, Coca Cola & Centre Parcs.
OK so it’s Not a ‘traditional’ career – I often pinch myself and thank my lucky stars. However, I work hard and absolutely love the job I do! I’m always keen to talk to people about new projects, remain flexible and always happy to go that extra mile. I may be a British speaking national, but I also count myself as an international Voiceover. Having my own studio within the grounds of my home means that I can be at the Mic 24 hours a day 365 days a year so available to any time zone. If you are looking for an authentic, British male voiceover get in touch!