How did you get into voice overs?
I have always enjoyed voicing jingles and ‘playing’ with imaging elements and music. To be honest it was my interest in radio jingles that got me interested in radio in the late 1970s. Short, punchy, highly produced – pristine. I was the kid who recorded the jingles off the radio.
What is your earliest memory of radio?
Listening to Junior Choice on Radio One in the UK and asking my mum how so many pop bands could fit into a studio. She laughed and showed me a seven inch record.
What was your first on air experience?
Presenting Spectrum Motown at Southend Hospital Radio when I was 18 – the youngest presenter on the station.
What was your first paid radio job?
Landing the Radio Top Shop gig. It was an outstanding job that led to tonnes of club work and shifts at both the BBC and Essex Radio.
What is your favourite song?
According to my iTunes app the song I have played the most is That’s the Way it is by Bruce Hornsby and the Range.
Which DJs influenced you the most?
Kenny Everett, he was just brilliant on so many levels – as a broadcaster, his creativity and technical excellence. Noel Edmunds was an inspiration, as was LBC’s Adrian Love – his phone-in show opened my teenage eyes to the world of news and current affairs.
Anything you’d like to change?
I’d like to see a return to DJs selecting the music they play, fewer ads per hour and more ‘personality’ DJs. Radio today is too formulaic.
What does the future hold for radio?
Radio has a brilliant future, and it will be online. Transmitters will one day not be used, smartphones are today’s mobile radios, we’ll listen to internet radio in our cars and at home.
Online radio currently has a low point of entry, so my fear is that start-up broadcasters – who are bringing real diversity to the medium – will face higher hurdles and increased costs that will slow their growth or knock them off the air.
We must be vigilant to keep the internet free of commercial and government interference. Net neutrality is a must.
Any advice to new DJs / VO artists?
Be yourself, let your personality shine through, don’t sell yourself short, work hard – and have fun.
Places I like
Here are a few websites I like to keep an eye on, they are presented in no particular order.
- I have been into radio jingles since I could talk. So when I need a jingle fix I go to Jingle Mad Radio.
- This site is worth a look if you are into old ILR stations in the UK.
- Being a huge fan of the WordPress CMS I regularly take a look at its latest plugins.
- Mixxx. When I get the music mixing bug I turn to Mixxx. A great free DJ app that will run on any OS.
- Radiologic. The app I use to record my radio show – easy to use and stable (Mac only).
- Reason. I can spend hours messing around with this music-making app.
- Pirate radio. A bit of British nostalgia.
- The Free Music Archive features new music you don’t hear on the radio. Orfium is also worth a look for new bands.
- Free software for Macs.
- Free alternative to Microsoft Word apps here.