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Radio to Voiceover?
Or Voiceover to Radio?

It’s a whole new world for me to explore, and I will make it, and I will love it, and it will be a proper job Dad!

Radio to Voiceover?
Or Voiceover to Radio?

It’s a whole new world for me to explore, and I will make it, and I will love it, and it will be a proper job Dad!

We sat down with two audio professionals who are currently on quite different paths. Going from radio to voiceover has its own unique set of challenges and equally going from voiceover into the world of radio has its own pitfalls. Have you followed either of these paths and what helped you get through? Let us know in the comments below.

Going from radio to voiceover – Kim’s take:

“I would be wrong to start this article with ‘2020 brought its challenges’ cos everyone knows that, it’s a given, and so far 2021 is also proving to be a very different world, yeah we know… but let me tell you about my 2020 journey and how it has changed my working life completely.

I spent 25 years working in commercial radio, 25 years working for the same company in commercial radio, that’s unheard of! I had the best career, the most fun, rewarding, crazy, challenging, frustrating rollercoaster ride and I was loving every single minute of it. “Radio is not a proper job” to quote my Dad, and in some ways he was right, there are not many people who can go to work every day, sit in a soundproof box, sing along to their favourite songs, recount funny stories, and inform the listeners when they need to take a different route home cos their road is closed, but that’s what I did and I loved every minute of it!

Along came Covid-19 and everything changed, but not for me, I was considered a key worker, I still went to work every day, I still did all the above, and perhaps I became even more a part of peoples lives as all around me others changed, I was one of the lucky ones! 

Then I was made redundant.

The company I worked for had been taken over, way before the pandemic, lots of different things were going on in the background, we knew changes were coming, but I am always the glass half full, everything will be ok kinda person, until one day it wasn’t!

Oh boy, 25 years in one place, doing one job (ok 100 jobs but all in one place) and now it stops… what’s next?” Continued below.

Kim Robson

Image provided by Kim Robson

“Rather than be bitter about the takeover, I continued to have good conversations with the new company, I like them, I want to stay in their periphery, and I want to still do radio, but I also appreciate that in this ever changing time, that might not be the case, so whilst I stay in touch, I need to do something else. I have a home studio (smart enough to get that together a few years ago to supplement my income – local radio doesn’t pay all the bills) I’ll just work from home every day as a voiceover, I mean how hard can it be? 

Hello steep learning curve… just cos I have voiced commercials, and presented podcasts, and interviewed celebrities, and fronted client promotional videos, and wing-walked (just threw that one in to impress you), doesn’t mean the phone is going to ring off the hook with job offers, or the email is going to be non stop with scripts to voice. Quite the opposite.

I find myself sitting at the desk I managed to squeeze into the spare room every day, with numerous tabs open on my laptop, P2P sites, Google searches, LinkedIn, Twitter, online shopping sites for loungewear… battling my way into this new world. A world I know like the back of my hand, a world I have 25 years experience in, and a world where suddenly I know nothing. I look for jobs, I read more blogs everything from ‘you should join P2P, you get loads work’ to ‘you shouldn’t join P2P, you won’t get anything’ my favourite at the moment is ‘get out there and make contacts and find the work yourself’ erm hello… Where? Who? What contacts? No one tells you who to call, how to find the work? 

It’s a struggle, its not radio (ok I do still sing along to my favourite songs) but it’s a whole new world for me to explore, and I will make it, and I will love it, and it will be a proper job Dad!”

Bhavnisha Parmar

Image provided by Bhavnisha Parmar

Going from to voiceover to radio – Bhavnisha’s take:

“I think one thing that I am really looking forward to is taking my learning around conversational reads as a VO and adding that to my presenter personality. The idea of finding the balance of the traditional radio announcer voice and the real person behind the mic. My voice experience and training is definitely helping me to access that to be punchy but real in a relatable way.

I think the element of being live and handling all the tech and presenting in one go is going to be a new challenge. You have to be so aware of the technicalities of everything and the production as a whole, in terms of timings, the radio’s brand and other presenters. Granted as a VO I think you do all of this too naturally too, when building a picture of the project and doing your prep. But then you have the luxury of time in a session to create that magic and really let the process do its thing!

Another thought. VO today has a big investment in the brand, the VO as a brand. Added to directors and creatives are asking the artists to bring themselves, their authenticities to their reads. But with presenting you are really you. The person listening in, is really investing in you as a presenter, your likes and dislikes and your approaches to life. You have to be ready as a presenter to be front and centre all the time. And not necessarily take on a character for a script. This is certainly going to be fun to develop and explore going from VO to presenting.

Again this is happening more in VO, where directors and creatives are asking the artists to bring themselves, their authenticities to their reads…. but with presenting you are really you. The person listening in, is really investing in you as a presenter, your likes and dislikes and your approaches to life. You have to be ready as a presenter to be front and centre all the time. And not necessarily take on a character for a script.

And a few last thoughts, I think where we might not have to do this much as a VO, but we are starting to. The idea of being widely knowledgeable and constantly curious about the world around us. What makes a great presenter personality is having a specific passion that you share, or interests that are unique, sometimes broad. Bringing that to the table is engaging and as a presenter that real connection to those worldly topics is what makes you come alive on air.

Overall though I think there is an overlap between the two mediums, a really strong one. Especially when you break down the processes of being a VO and being a presenter and the energy that you have to bring to both. Whichever way you are transitioning you can bring what you have learnt to the other to enhance it!”

About Kim: With quarter of a century of industry experience as a presenter on the UKRD station Eagle Radio Kim Robson is a full-time professional British voice artist, radio presenter, podcaster and event host. She is also a stadium announcer for an Ice Hockey Team! Alongside this she is an audio editor. Find out more on Instagram and Twitter.

About Bhavnisha: Bhavnisha has been given her own show on the BBC Asian Network, where she will step into the presenting world alongside her day to day Voiceover work. Growing up as a British Asian creative, this is an exciting move which she believes will help diversity and inclusion to blossom, keeping Asian Arts alive and growing for all to enjoy. Expect a lot of laughter, a lot of conversation and a whole host of amazing music! Find out more on Instagram and Twitter.


Welcome to the VoicesUK blog. Here we explore all facets of the amazing world that is the voiceover industry. We feature guest authors on topics such as how to get started, what equipment is best for your recordings, how to find clients and how to best show off your skills on VoicesUK. To join our family of British voiceover artists please click here. To audition the perfect voice for your project click here.

VoicesUK - Voiceover News
VoicesUK - Voiceover News
VoicesUK - Voiceover News

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