Monday, 3 September 2012

News on 2

It’s all change on BBC Radio 2 this year.  A new set of jingles, the first in 15 years. And now voices that have been with the station for many years will be heard no more.

In June of this year a report prepared for Tim Davie, Head of Audio and Music (what we used to call radio!) by John Myers on the “synergies“ within Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music stated that “over at Radio 2 they have a team of announcers who read the news on the hour (outside of breakfast) but do not write any of the news material themselves. Instead the BBC newsroom writes the news and feed this to the newsreaders for them to read out of their own broadcasting booths. They have very little interplay with the general presenters, and due to the nature of their structure, they do little else until the next hour’s bulletin”.

One of Myers’ conclusions was that the networks reduce recharges from the BBC news department. One consequence of this is  that broadcast journalists, some of whom can currently be heard on 6 Music and occasionally overnight on Radio 2, will be writing and reading the bulletins on the station. So it’s goodbye to the station’s freelance newsreaders, some of whom have been on air for three decades or more.   

I guess it’s hard to argue with the cold economics of this decision but Myers overlooks the other technical duties performed by the newsreaders who, especially in the evenings and at the weekend, hold the network together.   Ironically just the other Saturday Charles Nove had to fill-in when the line to Edinburgh went down. And of course it does mark the end of an era, one I thought worthy of mention.

If my Blogger stats are to be believed the single most visited page is Radio 2 Announcers A-K and the third most popular Radio 2 Announcers L-Z. So I’m taking this opportunity to complete the list and add another 74 people who have been on continuity announcing and newsreading duties since Radio 2 started in 1967 and bringing it right up-to-date.

This updating has proved a difficult task. Firstly I wasn’t listening to Radio 2 back in ’67, I’d only just started infants school at the time. I have very few recordings from that era (found on the net or given to me). To complicate it further newsreaders had a habit of popping up on other networks in the days before a dedicated Presentation Editor in 1972 and you also had “floating” newsreaders borrowed from Radio 4 should the newsreader be unable to read a bulletin on either Radio 1 and Radio 2, this being in the days when they would work on both stations and handle any programme junctions.

Secondly in more recent times the station has used freelance newsreaders, sometimes on short-term contracts or appearing on other stations at the same time, so finding out who’s been on and when is far from easy. 

For this post I’m especially grateful to Colin Berry who’s helped me identify some mystery voices from Radio 2’s past. Thanks also to the following who kindly responded to my requests for information: Jon Briggs, Charles Carroll, Michael Collie, Dominic Cotter, Nick Page and Humphrey Walwyn.

Recordings – all the recordings in this post come from Radio 2 bulletins and announcements, Radio 1 bulletins and the Light Programme. Whilst I have recordings of Peter Donaldson and Peter Jefferson on Radio 4 I’ve not located any Radio 2 audio. If you have any please contact me. In addition if you have any audio for Dan Austin, Michael Collie, Pat Doody,  Dwight Whylie and Kate Williams I’d love to hear from you.

Missing? – this post together with the two existing blog posts lists some 109 newsreaders/announcers. Even so I’ll have missed someone off the list. If you think someone is missing, and you have dates and audio, please let me know.


Barry Alldis
Best known for his days on Radio Luxembourg. On the BBC from 1966 to 1975 where he presented Monday, Monday!, Late Night Extra and The Early Show.
Barry Alldis

 
Dan Austin
Radio 2 in 2002 (4 months). Previously presenter at BBC Radio Bristol and BBC TV announcer. BBC Channel director 2002-2011. Now Continuity Producer at BSkyB.

Simon Bates
Worked on radio in New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK in 1971 and joining the BBC as newsreader announcer, initially on Radio 4 and then Radio 2. Presenter of Late Night Extra and The Early Show (1974-75) before joining Radio 1 as DJ. Left in 1993 moving to Atlantic 252, Talk Radio, Liberty Radio, Classic FM and LBC. Currently the breakfast host on Smooth Radio.
Simon Bates


Pete Brady
Canadian born DJ first on Radio Jamaica before joining pirate station Radio London in 1964. From 1966 on the BBC Light Programme with shows such as Midday Spin and Swing Into Summer. Also heard on Radio Luxembourg. Part of the launch team on Radio 1 initially with a daily afternoon show before moving to Saturdays in July 1968 when he joined Thames TV’s Magpie (alongside Susan Stranks and Tony Bastable). Pete was back at the BBC in 1972 taking turns on The Early Show, newsreading shifts and the occasional Night Ride.  He left in September 1973.
Pete Brady

Jon Briggs
On Radio 2 1992-97 and presenter of Night Ride. Reporter on Radio 4’s The Chip Shop. Host of Morning Edition on BBC Radio 5 (1990-92). Also on Radio 4 1992-93 and read the news overnight on Radio 1 1993-95. Later on LBC and Radio 5 Live. Was the ‘voice’ of Radio 2 between 1997-2010 providing many of the on-air promotional trailers. Announcer on Channel 4, Sky Movies. Currently on BBC Radio Oxford every Saturday morning. His voice was also heard on BBC TV’s The Weakest Link (2000-12) and on Apple’s Siri app.
Jon Briggs




Charles Carroll
On Radio 2 from 1998 but only occasionally on the station of late. Mainly heard on BBC World Service and Radio 4. Visiting Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism at University of Westminster.
Charles Carroll

Richard Cartridge
On BBC Radio Solent from the late 70s and did the odd newsreading stint on Radio 2 in 1981. Performs with his own band and is now back at Solent on Sunday afternoons.
Radio 2 2005-12. Also on Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live. Actress and voiceovers.
Chandrika Chevli






Harvey Cook
Mainly on BBC 6 Music since at least 2006 with occasional shifts on Radio 2. Unable to confirm dates.
Harvey Cook
Jeff Cooper
Radio 2 1974-5 also presenting Music Through Midnight and holiday cover for Simon Bates on The Early Show. Radio career started at Radio Veronica then Piccadilly Radio. Extensive radio career at Trent, Clyde, Radio Manchester, City, LBC Music Radio in Italy, Beacon, Chiltern Radio WM, The Superstation, Rock FM, Hallam FM, Silk FM, Peak 107. Now runs Radio 2XS and online version of Radio Trent.
Jeff Cooper
Michael Collie
Broadcasting career started as newsreader at Radio WM then working on Radio 4, BFBS and the World Service. Moved into TV on shows such as Countryfile, Top Gear and Paddles Up. Presenter on London news station Channel One before returning to Birmingham for BBC’s Midlands Today in 1995. Newsreader on Radio 2 between 1999 and 2002. Also presented on BBC Radio’s Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Coventry & Warwickshire.


Dominic Cotter
Broadcast journalist reading the news on Radio 2 between 2005 and 2010. Previously at LBC Radio. Presenter/producer at BBC Radio Oxford and currently at BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
Dominic Cotter



Jon Curle
More on Jon in this blog post
Currently the man in charge of Radio 2 presentation and, of course, the “voice of the balls” on the BBC’s lottery programmes. Started as station assistant at BBC Radio Birmingham and then presenter/producer on Radio Devon. Joined Radio 2 in 1987 and presented Nightride and The Early Show.
Alan Dedicoat
Peter Dickson
Famously now shouting the likes of “It’s time to face the music” and “Olly Murs” etc. on ITV’s The X Factor he started as a journalist and presenter at BBC Radio Ulster before joining Radio 2 in 1984. Presenter of You and the Night and the Music, Nightride and Nightcap. Also popped up on Radio 1 – reporting for Newsbeat and Walter’s Weekly and as ‘Voiceover Man’ on Steve Wright in the Morning. On Melody Radio (1990-4) and has since done hundreds of voiceover and narration jobs. 
Peter Dickson


Pat Doody
For many years was a continuity announcer on Border TV and Tyne-Tees. Started with the BFBS in Cyprus where he met and married Jean Challis and trained a young Peter Donaldson (see below). On Radio 2 in the late 60s where he also presented Night Ride and Strings by Starlight.

Peter Donaldson
After an early career as an actor he applied for a job as an announcer with the BFBS. Joined Radio 2 on 6 April 1970 and was presenter of Night Ride, Breakfast Special and The Early Show. On Radio 4 from 1973 apart from a short break when he joined Radio Hallam for its launch. Chief Announcer 1988-2003 and still reading the news as a freelance having retired in 2005. 


Brian Empringham
For many years a newsreader on the BBC World Service. Also on Radio 4 as well as Radio 1 and Radio 2 in the early 70s.
Brian Empringham

Adrian Finighan
Radio 2 1991-94 as newsreader and presenter of Night Ride. Started at Gwent Broadcasting then DJ on Radio Broadland, Radio Cambridgeshire and Radio Norfolk. BBC TV announcer. TV newsreader from 1994 for BBC Business News, BBC World, News 24 and CNN. Continued to occasionally read the news and present Night Ride until 1998. Now on Al Jazeera.
Adrian Finighan
Eugene Fraser
Born in Fiji and educated in New Zealand where he worked on radio and television. He came to Britain in 1967 and joined the BBC as announcer and newsreader. Initially on Radios 1 and 2 he presented such shows as Night Ride, Friday Night is Music Night and Brass and Strings. In 1975 he moved to Radio Victory in Portsmouth. By 1978 he was back at the BBC, this time as announcer/newsreader on Radio 4. He left the station in the 1990s.
Eugene Fraser
Fenella Fudge
Radio 2 1996-2012. Joined the BBC as a trainee secretary and then various TV production posts. Freelance as announcer on Radio 4 and voiceover artist. Voiceover trainer with A1Vox.
Radio 2 1990-2012. Started at Radio 2CR in Bournemouth. Famously one of Wogan’s “underlings” with a penchant for locking young man in the cupboard under her stairs!
Fran Godfrey



Justine Greene
Newsreader on BBC Radio 5 Live and co-presented Breakfast and Drive. Previously at BBC London, Radio Wales, Choice FM, Radio XL, Swansea Sound, The Wave, BBC Radio Leicester and Mercia FM.
Justine Greene
Barri Haynes
Radio 2 1971-72, first presenter of The Early Show. Continuity announcer at LWT. Commentator on Come Dancing. BBC Radio Wales.
Barri Haynes

 
Ellis Hill
Worked for the BBC on radio and TV between 1965 and 1992. During the 1970s presented the BBC East regional opt-out programme Roundabout East Anglia. Joined Radio 2 in 1986 initially to provide cover for Derek Jameson on the Breakfast Show. Newsreader and presenter of Nightride 1988/1990-92. Presenter on Blue Danube Radio 1992-97.
Ellis Hill
Paul Hollingdale
Career started with the BFBS in Germany, CNBC (an early pirate station based in Holland) and then Radio Luxembourg. Joined the BBC as announcer on the Light Programme in September 1967. Presented Morning Music, Breakfast Special, Swing Into Summer, Mack is Back, This Must Be the Place and Nordring on the Light. First voice heard opening the new Radios 1 & 2 in September 1967. Continued on Breakfast Special as well as Nordring and Dancing Round Europe. Sacked by the BBC in 1970 he went into music management and was part of the launch team at Radio 210. More recently living in Vienna and working for Blue Danube Radio, providing film commentaries and shows for international airlines.
Paul Hollingdale

Peter Jefferson
Career started on the BBC World Service, moving from studio manager to announcer. On Radio 2 1970-72 and presented Night Ride. Long on Radio 4 as announcer/newsreader between 1974 and 2009.




Sean Kelly
On BBC Light Programme and Radio 2 between 1964 and 1973. Presented Morning Music, Sounds of the Night, Breakfast Special, The Late Live Show, Starlight Serenade, The Sound of Strings, It’s One O’Clock, Music All the Way, Night Ride and Star Sound. Former actor in films and the occasional tv series between 1957 and 1964 (633 Squadron amongst his credits). Later joined Capital Radio as one of the hosts of Night Flight.
Sean Kelly
Andrew Lane
Radio 2 1990-92 and occasional host of Nightride. BBC Studio Manager 1974-77, BFBS 1977-1990, Southern Radio 1992-94, BBC Weather Producer 1994-2002, Manager of BBC Weather Centre 2002-2008, Head of Operations at Redemptorist Publications 2008-2012. Now Public Speaker for the Motor Neurone Association.
Andrew Lane
Peter Latham
Born in Lancashire but educated in New Zealand where he worked as announcer on NZBC 1953-1963. Joined the BBC Light Programme in 1964. Presented Morning Music, Breakfast Special and Melody Hour. Continued on Radio 2 1967 until about 1971 hosting Breakfast Special, Night Ride, Late Night Extra and Melody Fair. Returning to New Zealand in the early 70s he became a priest.
Peter Latham
Paul Leighton
Radio 2 1981-2000 Started as trainee reporter on Birmingham Post. First broadcast as newsreader on Campus on BBC Radio Nottingham in 1971. Radio Derby’s Political Affairs Producer. Announcer on Radio 4 and presented Morning Has Broken before joining Radio 2. Now Chairman of Broadcasting Division of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.
Paul Leighton
Alex Lester
Radio 2 from 1987 first as newsreader/announcer and one of the presenters of Night Ride and The Early Show. Regular overnight presenter (“The Best Time of the Day”) from January 1993 to date. Radio Aire 1981-3, Radio Tees 1983-6, BBC Essex 1986-7.
Alex Lester


Andrew Lodge
Radio 2 in 1975. Actor and voiceover on TV shows such as Catchphrase and Family Fortunes. 
Andrew Lodge
Jack McLaughlin
Jack McLaughlin (aka Yak MacFisheries, aka The Laird of Cowcaddens) had been a pirate DJ on Radio Scotland, Britain Radio, Radio 390 and Radio 270 (under the name Steve Taylor).He went legit and was with the original team at Radio Clyde and also worked as an announcer/presenter on Grampian Television and STV (Pop Scotch, Thingummyjig and Junior Try for Ten) and on BBC Radio 2 as announcer and presenter of Folk 74 and Folk 75. Moved to Capital Radio and then Radio Victory where by 1977 he was Head of Programmes and News. Later established Radio Scotland Worldwide Ltd, an internet broadcast company.
Jack McLaughlin


Steve Madden
On the BBC World Service and Radio 4 before joining Radio 2 in 1983. Regular presenter of Night Ride and The Early Show and then the overnight show 1995-98 alternating with Charles Nove. Later on BBC Eastern Counties with the evening show. Currently on BBC Radio Berkshire in the early morning.
Steve Madden
Bryan Martin
First broadcast in 1946 on Children’s Hour. Joined the staff of the BBC in 1957 as a studio manager on the BBC General Overseas Service. A full-time announcer from 1963 he also presented Morning Music and Family Fare on the Light Programme.  Joined Radio 4 in the early 70s becoming senior newsreader. Retired in 1992. Died in 2009.
Bryan Martin


John Marsh
John ‘Boggy’Marsh is, thanks to Terry Wogan, now best known for the Janet and John stories, owning a shed and playing the organ. Broadcasting career started in TV as a cameraman and then technical operator and studio management. Announcer on BBC World Service 1970 and Radio 4 from 1973. Transferred to Radio 2 in 1982. Presented Marching and Waltzing. Retired in 2007 but on-air until 2010.
John Marsh


Roger Moffat
BBC announcer in the 1950s long associated with the Northern Dance Orchestra show Make Way for Music. In the 60s he also presented It’s One O’Clock, Music Through Midnight, Startime, Stay Late and Midday Spin. Continued with Radio 2 on Night Ride and Things Are Swingin’. Left the BBC and was next heard on Radio Hallam in the mid-70s. Died in 1986.
Roger Moffat
Ray Moore
For more on Ray see this blog post
Ray Moore


Michael de Morgan
BBC Radio 1959-73 mainly Home Service/Radio 4. Regular host of the Sports Service in 60s. Presented BBC2 tv News Review.
Michael de Morgan
Colin Nicol
Born in Australia his first job was as radio announcer on 6PM-AM and then 6KY. Travelling to Europe he signed up with Radio Atlanta in 1964 before transferring to Radio Caroline. Radio England, Britain Radio and Radio Luxembourg followed until he became a BBC staff announcer in 1968. One of the presenters of Night Ride. Moved to BFBS in Malta and Gibraltar before a return down under and back to Radio 6KY. Last reported as running a city centre precinct in Perth.
On BBC Radio Scotland from 1978 before joining Radio 2 in 1981. Presenting duties included You and the Night and the Music, Nightride, The Early Show and Cinema 2. Freelance from 1989 he also appeared on Magic 105.4, Jazz FM, Oneworld and Saga.  BBC TV continuity announcer (1987-9) and commentator on Come Dancing. Presents a Sunday morning on BBC Radio Oxford, is MD of A1 Vox Sound Studios and co-owns a fleet of vintage buses along with other Radio 2 colleagues Ken Bruce, Alan Dedicoat and Steve Madden.
Charles Nove
Hilary Osbourn
Radio 2 1986-90 also presented String Sound. TV continuity announcer on LWT, TVS and Meridian. Radio 4 announcer for a while in 1984. Originally joined the BBC as a secretary then studio manager before moving into presenting at BBC Radio London (Woman in Town).
Hilary Osbourn
Geoff Oxley
Radio 2 early 1990s. Now Crossword setter for The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.
Geoff Oxley
Nick Page
First broadcast on Radio Medway then to LBC, IRN as newsreader and BBC Radio Wales. Presented a Sunday morning show on Radio 2 1979-83. Worked on Radio 2 as announcer/newsreader 1984-92. Presented Nightride, Songs from the Shows, String Sound and European Pop Jury. Covered for Ray Moore and John Dunn. Narrated Radio 4 schools programme Together. Also on elevenSEVENTY AM, KFM and Premier Radio. Now director of the International Christian Media Commission and runs Shorehill Arts.
Nick Page


Andrew Peach
Radio career started in 1991 at BBC Radio Oxford then Radio Berkshire, Radio 2 from 1998 as freelance newsreader and Radio WM. Occasionally on BBC Radio 5 Live and the World Service (News Briefing). Currently presents the Breakfast Show on Radio Berkshire.
Andrew Peach
Iain Purdon
Radio 2 1982-94 where he was Presentation Editor and only occasionally on-air. Previously at BBC Radio Scotland and Radio CWR, Moved to BFBS and than BBC World Service (from 1995) as newsreader. Read the last ever news bulletin from Bush House in July 2012.  
Iain Purdon
Tina Richie
Radio 1 newsreader mid-1990s best known for being on Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Started in radio on the BBC’s Trainee Reporters Scheme. Reporter for BBC Essex then producer/presenter for GLR before joining Radio 1. Moved to Virgin Radio and became Head of News. Returned to newsreading on Radio 2 from October 2010.
Radio 2 newsreader from 1998. Announcer on World Radio Network. Previously at Ocean Sound, Radio 5 and Radio 5 Live, Southern Radio, LBC and Radio Solent. MD of BigFish Media Ltd.
Ricky Salmon
Tom Sandars
Radio 2 newsreader since 2007 also working on BBC Radio 5 Live. Provides interval programmes for Friday Night is Music Night and arts news slot on Claudia Winkleman's show. Radio career started at Radio Shropshire then Radio WM. Presenter on Midlands Today and Sky News.
Tom Sandars

Andrea Simmons
Radio 2 newsreader 1992-2009 also working regularly on BBC Radio 5 Live. TV continuity announcer and voiceover work.
Radio career began with the BFBS in a number of postings in Cologne (alongside David Hamilton, Paul Hollingdale and Bill Crozier), Kuwait, Nairobi and Aden. Joined Radio Caroline followed by Radio Luxembourg and Radio London before signing up with the BBC Light Programme where he also presented Swingalong.  Part of the original line-up on Radio 1 in 1967 taking over from Brain Matthew on Saturday Club. Also on What’s New. Became a staff announcer and presented Night Ride and Sunday with Skues. Left the BBC to become Programme Director and DJ at Radio Hallam, later on Yorkshire Radio Network and Classic Gold.  Back to the BBC initially on Radio Sheffield and now Radio Norfolk where his Sunday night show is broadcast across the eastern counties stations.
Keith Skues
Alan Smith
Occasional newsreader on R2. Started on BBC Radio Cumbria before moving to Radio 4 as announcer, also on Radio 7/4 Extra
Alan Smith





John Terrett
Radio 2 newsreader and presenter of Night Ride 1991-93. Previously at Radio Solent, BSB News, BBC Radio Surrey. Later on London News 97.3, Radio Northampton, BBC World.  Now the Washington correspondent for the Al Jazeera English service.
John Terrett
Linda Thomas
Radio 2 1981-2. BBC tv announcer 1982-3 then on Channel 4 and TVS. 
Linda Thomas


John Toogood
Radio 2 mid-80s. Regular presenter on BBC Radio London. Contributed Toogood’s Travels to the Nightride shows.
BBC newsreader 1970-71 on Radios 1, 2 & 4 and World Service. One of the presenters of Night Ride. Head of Popular Music at BBC World Service 1974-85, Head of BBC Records & Tapes 1985-88, CEO Mainstream Records 1990-96, Director of Product Development at Linguaphone 1996-2000.
Humphrey Walwyn

Dwight Whylie
BBC’s first black announcer joining the BBC in 1965. Previously chief announcer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and then working in the High Commissioner's Office in London.  Presenter on Night Ride. Returned to Jamaica in the early 70s and headed the JBC. Died in 2002.





Kate Williams
Radio 2 2002-7. Reporter at BBC Radios Norfolk, Northampton, Look East and Radio 5 Live 1990-2002, Assistant Editor BBC College of Journalism 2007-2009, Presenter Farming Today 2009-10, Presenter The World Today 2005-2011, currently Local Radio Trainer and on Call You and Yours 
The following Broadcast Journalists have also read overnight bulletins on Radio 2 in the last year or so:
Matthew Bohm (unsure of spelling of surname, Bohen?)
Katherine Cracknell (heard here on 6 Music)
Niki Cardwell (heard here on 6 Music)

More voices from Radio 2's past in my original A-Z of newsreaders and announcers.
Part 2 L-Z

Edit May 2013: Added Pete Brady biog/audio and Ellis Hill audio.

 

4 comments:

BigFish Media Voiceovers said...

Hi

A very interesting blog. Could you amend my company to be BigFish Media? (no gap)

Thanks

Ricky

Andy Walmsley said...

Hi Ricky, thanks for dropping by. The company name has been amended.

Callum said...

Superb bit of anorakking. Thanks for bothering to record one of my less rubbish bulletins and uploading it.

Charles Nove said...

Seeing the name John Toogood reminds me..... he was the one who, owing to technical confusion while giving mic level to the engineer, managed to broadcast, over Charlie Chester's Sunday Soapbox, the winning phrase: "Of course, the trouble with this shift is you have to sit here and listen to this old rubbish."

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