Follow me on Twitter: @janemcintyre12



I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Monday 24 September 2012

Soho: Red lights,getting Rich & a sweet talking guy.

Soho. It felt less smutty, somehow, than it had back in the last century when, as a trembling teen reporter, I turned up for work on a paper in darkest Dean Street.

I was nnnn-nineteen. But I soon got the hang of it.You rushed in (always), holding a cappuccino and a croissant, hammered through your contacts book,clinched exclusives,bashed out your copy; got sneered at by sub editors for all your Tippex stains,and choked half to death by a constant fog of fag smoke;then emerged gasping for air at lunchtime. Tuesdays were good. You put the paper to bed and skipped over the road for a couple of bottles (each) (on expenses) and then you might end up in a club. Or..whatever. And there was plenty of extra dosh to be made selling anything mildly salacious on to the tabloids.

Thousands of words and years of radio shows later, Soho lured me back .The prospect was intoxicating. It was just round the corner from where it all a darkened room, somewhere under Bateman Street. The promise? A dozen complete strangers. A little one to one stuff. Some heavy breathing and some gentle panting. A soupcon of filthy banter. And lots of new tricks.

OK-so it was a voiceover training day with Peter Dickson and Tanya Rich. You`ll have heard them both. Peter`s the guy with the mahoosive voice on X Factor and any number of other big shows, ads, and events.Amazing to meet him. You know that scene where they find the Wizard of Oz,while he`s booming out some terrifying proclamation...and Toto whips a curtain away to reveal a fairly normal looking bloke? It was like that. But nicer. Gently spoken, articulate, elegant, lovely. And so damn clever. And his partner in crime, Tanya Rich. Rich? She might be.She should be...because she has a vast talent for being whoever people want her to be; and like Peter, you`ll have heard her.Apart from that, she has the loveliest laugh, endless patience and the coolest biker boots.

And with them in this subterranean, state of the art studio in the heart of Soho, their 12 disciples. From the deepest baritone to the chirpiest, most vibrant of voices --and all shades in between. Over a day we learnt how be ourselves. And how to be someone else. How to breathe, persuade, sell, sight read and in-to-nate.

So --was it a breeze for me...with over 25 years in radio...17 of them newsreading, and with a couple of Sonys under my belt? Far from it. I learnt loads (yes, Tanya, I`m still smiling....!!) and was inspired by my teachers, and by everyone around me.

So to Tim the boatman (don`t mention Snow White...), Randle the chocolate coated Baritone, James the highly talented ex teacher, Dave the DJ (knows his stuff; nice having lunch), Jas the amazing mimic (don`t you dare....), Simone from Shoreditch (shoes as well as a voice to die for), Anne and Laura (cool and classy and lovely to meet), Dan and Rich (late on parade after having a flat tyre but still sounded ace), and the gorgeous, fresh voiced was great to meet you and learn from you all. And thanks to Olly the technician for nipping and tucking us together so skillfully, and to Nigel for lending us his studio and leaving me a pink cake in an envelope.

And finally ...(this is the bit in my news bulletins where I honestly DID smile, Tanya....) back to business, and why we were all there. After a hell of a tasty taster I still want to do voiceovers?

Hell yes. Watch this space.

Oh. Here they are. Thanks Olly, technical studio hero. Here you go AND REMEMBER...I`M A TRAINEEEEE!!!!!

Jane After Mortgages Mix

Jane After BlueIslands Mix

 So it was cake in the end? 

 Thanks for sharing. You captured us wannabes trying to become a Voiceover brilliantly. Well done.

 Lovely bit of writing there Jane. I shall give you a call later this week x May we use it on our website please?

 Thought it summed up the day beautifully. I find that I am obsessively listening to ads and trying to spot the. I write our blog but the subject matter isn't as sexy as yours! I should set up a personal one.

 nice blog piece :)

 thankyou. I nicked one of your Baftas in exchange. I knew you wouldn't mind  

 how fab do you sound in those clips?! :)

Monday 17 September 2012


............there`s something about September. I`ve already said that I`m ready for autumn: love the colours, the plump fruit ripening in the garden; the chill in the air that means log fires aren`t far away.

But I reckon the anticipation and the excitement of a new school year stay with you, however old you are.

Maybe that feeling is heightened in this house, with a 16 year old starting sixth form college, making new friends and studying her chosen subjects in more depth. That`s a big step. But her older sister`s at a crossroads too. She has a good degree under her belt; some amazing work experience on both sides of the pond, and now it`s time for her to find a job in London. (Sooner, rather than later, please, as her first rent cheque`s due this week.) She`s home for a few more days, scouring the job ads, composing applications, making thousands of other new graduates.

It`s a very different world from when I left journalism college at 19. I had three interviews to work on three different papers, and got offered a job on each of them. These days it`s a virtual rugby scrum for jobs. You have to stand out--but you don`t want to seem pushy. And you have to be prepared to make compromises. All I hope is that the people she`s applying to work for, have the courtesy to send some kind of reply. It must be so soul destroying to hear nothing back.

So. That`s both daughters facing new starts, and in a similar way, six months on from asking to leave my producer`s job at the BBC (with some money for my back pocket, ta.....) I`ve been through a crossroads too. But now, every day, I`m free to choose to do what I like, when I like. And I`ve never been happier. I`m writing (oh...did I tell you about the three book plots I have in my head? Only a matter of time before at least one of them`s in print. Honest .) I`m also running, travelling, walking on the beach, reading, chilling, visiting my dad while he can still remember who I am.....and laughing lots, too. I know I`m lucky, but I`ve also been through some turbulent times to get here.

Only this morning I heard from two friends--one whom I`ve known for many years, and one I know through social media but who I like to think of as a friend , on Twitter. Both of them say they`re not content with their lot. They`re considering taking a drastic turn.

I know it`s easier said than done, and you have to be able to eat and to pay for the roof over your head, and support your children. But if you can survive--then just follow your heart. Only you know if your job or your circumstances or the people around you are making you unhappy. If they are....then ...double check your parachute....have faith in yourself ...and jump.

Better to try it...than look back and wish.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Naked New Yorker....

.....well this guy came close:

.....the nearly butt-naked cowboy. Strumming and strutting his stuff in Times Square. He really didn`t mind posing, either.

From the stars of Broadway shows to pavement performers, stall holders and smoothie bar staff (*Hey...welcome to Jamba*....!) seems like every New York City street`s a stage for somebody. And noisy with it.

For the big name stars in those multi million dollar productions, their shows are the culmination of months of rehearsals. They`re among the best in the world, but standing up there every night, they must feel almost as naked as the cowboy; baring their souls, sharing their skills and belting out musical numbers they hope their audiences will love.

They put themselves out there to be judged. But at least most of them have a cast and back up team around them for moral support.

How about if you`re showcasing your talents to the world alone? Letting passers by judge your you`re writing it?

That`s what Sarah Shaefer did  this week at The Drama Book Shop--an incredible New York store which does what it says on the sign. She was one of a series of playwrights who sat in the window for a couple of hours, hammering out her latest piece of work. And you could stand there in the street, watching her words pop up on a giant screen, as she wrote them.

Now that`s brave. I felt a bit guilty tapping on the glass and interrupting her flow to mime that I`d love to take her picture, but I did it anyway and she smiled back, she is:

So this blog...and a suitably muted, terribly British ripple of applause dedicated to Sarah, and to you, if you`re bold enough to bare your soul, your show, your boxers, your book, or your blog--to the world. Remember...even if they don`t tell you......someone, somewhere, is loving what you do.