Coronavirus: Voiceover artists stress how important it is to "keep talking"

More than 70 male, female and child voiceover artists have donated their voices to a specially-made radio commercial to encourage listeners to “keep talking” whilst the UK is in lockdown.

Friday, 10th April 2020, 10:18 am
Emma Clarke

Voiceovers United” is a project created, written and produced by voiceover artist and award-winning radio commercial producer John Calvert. The message encourages listeners to “Stay at home, protect the NHS, stay safe… And Keep Talking.”

John said: “Voiceovers often spend hours and hours cooped up in a small booth or room. Most of us in the trade are perfectly used to that. But for those who aren’t so used to isolation, the long lonely lockdown could have adverse effects on mental health. We all know talking is a great way to get things off your chest and who better to promote this than voiceovers?

“Some of the UK’s leading voiceover artists have joined the project. These include X Factor voice Peter Dickson; ‘Voice of the Balls’ Alan Dedicoat; film trailer voice Redd Pepper; Big Brother Voiceover Marcus Bentley; Flash Gordon, Blackadder and Star Wars character actor Brian Blessed and many more familiar voices from the world of TV, radio, film, advertising, gaming, animation and automation. Everyone who participated, including voiceover agents, animation companies and music publishers gave their services for free.

“The voiceovers were sent a script and recorded the lines in their own studios. The audio was then sent back to the studio at Airforce Radio Commercial Production in Wiltshire and seamlessly mixed together.”

John added: “So many leading voices uniting for something like this has never been done before, and the response to the initiative was far beyond anything I expected. What we have ended up with is a very powerful, yet entertaining message. I hope everyone will feel reassurance from hearing the message, share it with others and… Keep Talking.”

Voiceover Artist Emma Clarke (voice of ‘mind the gap’ and ‘Avalon’ in the Hollywood blockbuster feature film Passengers) said: “During this unprecedented period, we’re all alone together. I love the idea of lone voices coming together to create a whole in this gorgeous piece of audio. It reflects what’s happening in the world - that we all have to play our part as individuals to help the whole world.

“Everyone I speak to is feeling the same – tired, scared, overwhelmed, angry, powerless… and also joyful, connected, needed, loved, hopeful. We’re all feeling the same vulnerabilities. There’s something very powerful in that shared experience and for me, that’s what this piece of audio is about.”

The Voiceovers United project is inviting radio stations across the UK to broadcast the commercial at any time they see fit. It is available to download for free on Soundcloud.

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well. With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.