Monday, 24 May 2010

Dare we say it but summer seems to have finally reared its beautiful sunny head and the mood in and around Soho is very much fun in the sun.

It was as the weather turned last week that a very eminent visitor swept through the doors of A1. Sir Michael Gambon, CBE (born Michael John Gambon; 19 October 1940) is a highly respected television, film and theatre actor. Gambon is recognised for playing Philip Marlow in acclaimed BBC television serial ‘The Singing Detective’ and for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter film series.

When asked if children approach him as Dumbledore in the street, Gambon responded, "Children don't usually recognise me, although a kid came up to me the other day. I was in Cornwall and he said, Gandalf, can I have your autograph? I said, P*** off!"

It seems that Gambon and Dumbledore don’t have the same affinity when it comes to small children.

Mr Joe McFadden made his debut appearance at VOX Towers this week. Joe started his career at the tender age of twelve with his first acting role in police drama series ‘Taggart’. However, it was following his appearance in the acclaimed movie ‘Small Faces’ that Joe won the hearts of many as Prentice McHoan. This performance even won him a nomination for a Scottish BAFTA.

Joe can be seen regularly on British TV screens in the popular ITV series, ‘Heartbeat’. Worth getting into trouble to catch a glimpse of this bobby on the beat!

The delightful Julie Peasgood breezed into our studio last week exuding happiness and joy. She is a lovely bubbly character and has her fingers in oh so many pies! Actress, presenter, author and voice over are naming just a few of the professions that Julie can turn her perfectly manicured hand to.
Her voice is instantly recognisable and described as ‘warm, authoritative, but friendly with a smile’. She is a remarkably proficient sight-reader and relishes the challenge of unpronounceable words with far too many syllables. Crazy lady!

It seems that Julie’s happiness may be down to more than a just a naturally sunny disposition, as she has also written a book called ‘The Greatest Sex Tips in the World'. Saucy!

A regular at A1 is Mr Richard Lintern who joined us once more in the VOX booth this week. British actor Richard began his onscreen television career in the U.K. in the late '80s. He also appeared in feature films such as ‘Malaventura’ and ‘Jinnah’. He continues to work regularly in TV and film both in Britain and America, most notably showing up in Woody Allen's 2007 film ‘Cassandra’s Dream’. A very pleasant chap indeed.

Soho News:

It is a very sad week this week as one of the last record shops in Soho, Vinyl Junkies, is to close after going into administration.

Owners of the Berwick Street shop, a favourite with DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Norman Jay, Carl Craig and Groove Armada, blamed rising rent, business rates and the congestion charge.

The street once had the biggest number of record shops in Britain and was known as the Golden Mile of Vinyl.

Sad days and we wish the owners all the best. Thanks for the music and the memories guys! Sniff.

So another scoot around the comings and goings at A1 VOX comes to a close. Visit us soon to get your A1 VOX fix. Till then keep it real...keep it vocal.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

We are now well and truly into our blogging stride and hope you enjoy reading about the A1 exploits as much as we relish relaying them to you.

This week has been yet another roller coaster ride at VOX Towers and never one to rest on our laurels we followed on from the Lumley and Smith appointments to the delectable Sally Phillips.

Sally has an enviable reputation in today's busy arts market: beautiful, talented and above all amusing; Ms. Phillips is well on her way to being counted alongside Felicity Kendal as one of Britain's premiere light acting talents. She struck comedy gold in her turn as hotel receptionist Sophie in ‘I’m Alan Partridge’ and despite being a support character her interaction with Alan made for some of the best laughs of the series. Back of the net.

You may also remember Sally as one of the three comedy broads from ‘Smack the Pony’ and for playing chain smoking ‘Shazzer’ in the film ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’. This big screen turn surely wins her the prize for using and delivering the F word as a separate language all on its own but f*** me she pulled it off brilliantly!

The actor Oliver Tobias made a house call to A1 this week. A remote and rather prevailing sullenness has only enhanced the mystique and charisma found in Oliver, who has enjoyed a four decade-long career on stage, screen and TV. He was with us to record and promote the new Robin Hood film for the Daily Mirror.

Oliver's taste in movies have been, shall we say, eclectic…… and not always tasteful! Women of a certain age may well remember Oliver in 1978 flick ‘Stud’ where he appeared with Joan Collins as an amorous waiter who sleeps his way to the top – Racy Stuff Mr Tobias.

The first rule of Voice Over Sessions.....don't talk about Voice Over Sessions – yes this week saw our in house talent, the one and only Miss Beth Chalmers, undertake a top secret intelligence booking that I would love to tell you about but I would have to kill you afterwards.

Beth has been a fleeting visitor the past week at A1 as she was flown over to Ireland to record a voiceover for a cartoon animation. Beth has a professional, bright, warm and sexy voice with slightly cheeky undertones but it was her brilliant accents and great character and cartoon voices that made her the ideal candidate for this project. Top of the morning to ya Beth!

This week one of our new in-house fathers Mr Nick Chambers had to put the baby down and read a medical script explaining how the reporting of patient safety incidents is a crucial part of clinical practice. Nicks delivery was controlled yet serene…pretty much like his partner Amy on delivering their baby son Isaac into the world……No?

Jay Rayner dropped into the studio at the end of last week. The son of Claire Rayner, who is also a celebrated writer and restaurant/food critic to boot, was recording a voice over for his regular slot on BBC magazine programme ‘The One Show’. Jay was recently quoted as saying ‘If I see someone using a knife and fork to eat spare ribs, I just know that I will want to punch them’. So maybe think twice before inviting Jay over for a Chinese – you may end up with more than a ‘weeping tiger’.

Soho News:

A world record for the highest number of manicures was set by beauty therapists in Soho on Friday.

Students from the London College of Beauty Therapy, in Great Marlborough Street, managed 1,897 during eight hours. Volunteers who turned up at the college were given a free file and varnish for women, or file and buff for men – OO ER!

No record had been set before, but the students hoped to achieve more than 1,000 before the day was out.

The event also raised several hundred pounds through donations for the Wellbeing of Women charity, which funds medical research into women's health issues. That really is a cut and shape above the rest – well done girls!

So another blog is complete but join us next week when I can hopefully regale you with the exploits of Charles’ first leg of the ’ Tog Cruise’ and let you know how we got on with highly acclaimed actor Sir Michael Gambon! Keep it ‘sound’ people.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

We hope last week was enough to wet your whistle because here is the second instalment and round up of news from your favourite Soho Sound Studio.

This Monday morning we had the loveable cheeky rogue Arthur Smith in. The London born alternative writer describes himself as a “semi-professional” comedian. He currently resides in Balham characterizing himself as the "Night Mayor of Balham — I don't do days". Well he made an exception for us Monday morning by making it in bang on time for his 10am session at VOX Towers. Always charming, Arthur is never one to mince his words and will often ask us ‘where’s the sh****r’ on arrival to the studio. Good to have you back Arthur!

This Sunday saw a momentous occasion in the A1 calendar as our very own Dame Joan Walker celebrated a significant birthday. ‘Our Joan’ is a versatile, exciting actress with an excellent ear for accents including her native Derbyshire. She has extensive TV, theatre and musical credits including her recent turn as Tanya in “Mamma Mia!”

This lovely warm voice pitched to precision with soft and sultry tones can be heard on many a jaunt including the narration of audiobooks and audiodescriptions for film. Her Audioguides include the Louvre; Monet; Picasso Museum and the Palace of Westminster.

But her talent doesn’t end there for she is making sure that the next generation know everything from their Acute Angles to their Significant Figures – (both of which Joan possesses I may add). We think she is utterly marvellous and always brings a ray of sunshine to the studio whenever she’s in so here’s to you, Joanie, may your mathematic and pro dramatics remain and prosper – HOORAH!!!

Towards the end of the last week Mr Nove took his turn in the booth and it may mean that you will be hearing his resonant tones echoing from the walls of many a bingo hall. Yes that’s right ladies and gentlemen Charles who can sometimes be heard voicing the National Lottery balls for BBC 1 will now scale new and heady heights announcing the Bingo numbers in clubs around the country. How does it go? “Two Fat Ladies! Oh, I beg your pardon, madam….”

This week saw our Cambridge boy Mr Trevor Nichols voicing for a motor trading conference. He had to voice a medley of negative and positive one liners in a range of accents which he pulled off in his own signature style – Good Work Trev!

One of our ‘top notch and very Scotch’ FVO’s Miss Jane MacFarlane has just completed the voice over for a six episode documentary ‘Love, Life and Prison’. This thought-provoking new series examines how relationships and family life are affected when a loved one is sent down. Dark, disturbing stuff which Jane sympathetically delivers in her natural warm tones – Tough text well read Jane.

This coming Friday sees the brief departure of our A1 VOX captain Mr Charles Nove who will be jumping ship and landing on the elegant and luxurious decks of Cunard’s liner ‘The Queen Victoria’.

Charles will be joining his esteemed friend and colleague, BBC Radio 2 host and television presenter Sir Terry Wogan. Together they will be hitting the high seas once more with Terry’s band of beloved TOGs (that's Terry's old geezers and gals to us!) to raise money for U.K. charity Children in Need.

Sailing the Mediterranean from Southampton onboard Queen Victoria for the second time, Terry and his gang will hold receptions and functions, a pub quiz and lots of other fundraising events. Charles will be the subject of a no-holds-barred Audience With session in the ship’s theatre, so who knows what secrets may be revealed. We will update you on the entire goings on and any inside gossip we are permitted to divulge as Charles undertakes this arduous voyage. Watch this space, people.

You will all be pleased to know that Joanna Lumley left VOX Towers exactly as she arrived – intact and untouched! She was off to host a charity bash later that day and certainly looked the ticket. I managed to get a picture of her before she left the studio and have to point out that I’m sporting gym hair which did nothing for me as I posed alongside Joanna who is infinitely more comfortable in front of a camera lens than me.

A true professional and downright nice person to boot she had us giggling throughout her visit. Her recent exploits have seen her involved within the political world, charity work and travel documentaries but we will always have a soft spot for her as alter ego Patsy who would have probably lapped up any male attention and drawled ‘Sin is in, Sweetie’ – Love it.

Soho News:

The last few days have seen London transformed into an urban jungle with 250 life-size baby elephants standing on street corners, parks and buildings around the capital. No…….. it isn’t David Attenborough gone mad in an African revival of ‘Jurassic Park’ but a very special one off art expo.

Us folk at A1 were lucky enough to have not one but two of the colourful fella's in our neighbouring Soho Square.

Each elephant is a unique creation by an artist, fashion designer, organisation or celebrity including Alice Temperley, Dian von Furstenberg, Matthew Williamson and lots more. ‘The Elephant Parade’ has been called London’s biggest outdoor art event on record. Not only is it creative but it’s for a good cause: Conservation of the Asian Elephant.

The jungle guys will be with us in the city until the end of July when they will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s. Check them out – you can’t help but smile when you come across one of these gorgeous creatures loitering in some obscure London location.

So therein ends another whirlwind weekly tour of A1 VOX. Tune in next week to hear more tales of Soho excitement and of course all news from Charles’ tour on the Queen Vic – Till then……………Anchors Aweigh!