//Edit: I didn't know where to put this, so I put it here. Hope you don't mind.
I know Mr Newmarch has an account here, whether or not he still uses it just to browse I don't know.
(For context for users who don't know, I'm 13, so most likely the youngest member of the forum.)
In August, I contacted the Enquiries department of the BBC Careers department, asking which subjects would be good to take if I wanted to become a continuity announcer for the BBC.
I was genuinely excited when I saw that I had received an email back. It was from Adam Laughlin, who sent me a standard email about checking the BBC Careers website, which was rather disappointing.
Thanks for taking the time to get in contact, it's great to hear from you.
It's fantastic to hear that you are interested in getting involved in broadcasting. It can be such a rewarding experience and you sound very passionate about it.
The best way to get information on any job opportunities within the BBC is to keep an eye on the BBC careers website:
I hope this has helped and thanks again for getting in touch.
All the best!
BBC Enquiries Team
I got back in touch explaining that I had followed the instructions in Mr Laughlin's reply, but to no avail. I asked if there was anybody within the Continuity department who could help me with my question.
After two weeks of no reply back from the BBC, I stopped checking my email (as I don't use it for anything else anyway).
However (and this is where I get genuinely ecstatic) I discovered today resetting a forgotten password that I had received an email back. The subject line: Continuity. The sender: Duncan Newmarch.
Before I even opened the email I nearly squealed the house down in delight, adding to the fact I was already rather happy somebody posted a good mock in the Gallery. Duncan is one of my biggest role models, and I've already seen his work in action not only seeing his announcements of course but also from multiple YouTube videos, such as this BBC News piece from 2009:
I opened the email to learn how nice a guy he was. Not only was he great at his job, but he was a great person too. He said this:
Thanks for your message, I’m pleased you’ve got in touch
When I was your age (before the internet was around), I used to wonder who all those people were! Things looked and sounded a bit different back then but I used to pretend being a continuity announcer… BBC of course!
I think the best thing I can say to you is… do your best at school and get the best grades you can, in the subjects that interest you. You never know what you’ll need for jobs you might go for the in future. As people decide to watch shows via Netflix/Amazon- there may not be so much need for announcers in the distant future. You don’t need specific grades to be an announcer but you may decide to go for other jobs (you usually need some kind of degree to work on BBC local radio).
Being a continuity announcer- the tone of your voice is naturally important. Ideally, if you’re on the telly or radio, the viewers/listeners should be able to hear what you’re saying. These days, the BBC purposely listen out for regional accents or voices that get away from the old announcer sound I used to enjoy.
With time and experience, you can bring in your own sense of humour. I still say that warmth is THE most important skill an announcer could have- would you want to meet up with him/her for a pizza?
I would strongly advise you to join your local hospital radio station- they look for volunteers to help present radio shows to the patients. It’s not paid but the skills you’d learn there are priceless. The ability to talk into a microphone, talk to a specific time, writing scripts and learning to cope when things go wrong around you. The other skill, which isn’t so easy to learn is the art of being creative, coming up with ideas etc. I can’t tell you how many episodes of Bargain Hunt I’ve introduced and you can’t keep using the same line day after day. Avoid any kind of forced delivery/radio voice, keep it natural if you can.
If you really love telly and the announcers, and it sounds like you do, keep your enthusiasm and when you think the time is right, make a short demo. My advice is to do something towards the beginning which will get people’s attention- not the same old boring thing everyone else would do.
Keep it short, make it sound like the channel you’re sending it to (I can’t tell you how many people have applied to the BBC, introducing programmes for Channel 4) and I’m sure you’ll get where you want to be… in time.
Just don’t steal my job.
All the best Kai, I hope this has been some help.
I can ask my bosses if you and a parent/guardian want to make a visit one day- to see what we do. We’re based in London though, White City.
Finally, here’s a fun radio show I made earlier this year. I grew up in the 80s, loving the radio when it was fun. https://soundcloud.com/user-813277564/duncans-stuck-in-the-80s-in-stereo
What a nice guy. If your bosses allow, I hope to take you up on your White City offer soon.
Thanks, Duncan. You've really made my year (literally).
Aspiring continuity announcer.