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Winner !

So ….. 

Awards night happened. Nominated for Best Radio Commercial, Male Voiceover Artist of the Year, and Best Outtake at the One Voice Awards, Ian was pipped at the post for the first two, but was fourth time victorious, in the best outtake category. 

Here he is in all his winning glory, completely unable to deliver the line “Thank you for calling Incontinance Supermarket … please hold 

Ian Brannan the undisputed King of the Cock Up. 

If you’re consistently winning awards for laughing and enjoying your work, then that is no bad thing in my eyes. 

Meanwhile, whilst Ian was living the high life in the Big Smoke, enjoying 3 course meals at The Hilton, the Littlest Voiceover and I enjoyed a picnic in the field nearby our house. A field in which she got stung by a nettle within her first few steps on the grass. 

The ensuing screams would have been more at home on a battle-field than a picnic-field. 

The much looked forward to picnic was subsequently consumed via a wobbly lip and accompanied by a hastily found and administered doc leaf to the foot. It also had to be enjoyed in character. Amber is 5, and loves a bit of role play, I was barely allowed to break character all weekend. If I tried I was hastily reminded, “no you’re not Mammy, you’re Anna remember !” Amber of course was Elsa. Frozen is having a renaissance, after Encanto briefly reigned supreme, it’s all change and we’re back to the old frosty favourite. However, I have to report there’s only so much Frozen role play a woman in her 40’s can endure.

Administering a doc leaf, asking what she wants for Breakfast, wrapping a birthday present, Facetiming with Daddy (Olaf!), requesting she tidies away the shoes she (Elsa!) has scattered across the house (Arendelle), all has to be done in the style of a Disney Princess, faux American accent et al. That is, if it’s to be done without complaint or resistance. 48 hours of relentless Elsa and Anna role play … surely it’s me that deserves an award ! 

The Incontinence King was due home Sunday afternoon, and we were onto the millionth re-enactment of Elsa’s ascent up the North mountain, the littlest Voiceover strangling her vocal cords belting out Let it Goooooooooo, when I spotted Ian’s car, I was thrilled. Thrilled he was home after being away from home most of the week with Speedway & the One Voice Awards …. But mostly thrilled that “Olaf” could now shoulder some of the role play burden. 

And so Anna ran off for a quiet bath, whilst Elsa bossed around a tired and emotional Olaf, who just wanted to sit down and enjoy a warm hug. 

So if you’re looking for a voice over this week, we’re now specialising in a northern male voice who can’t hold it in, and a child voice over who just wants to Let it Go. 

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Award Nominations … and the hunt for a new dinner jacket !

We’re very proud of Ian for being nominated for 3 One Voice Awards. It’s the UK’s largest Voiceover Awards, with 3600 entries received this year. Ian has had nods in the Best Radio Commercial category, Male Voiceover Artist of the Year and Best Outtake. 

He has form in the best outtake category, famously struggling to deliver lines for the following in previous years … 

The Cock Inn

Cwm Farm Charcuterie

Sandy Balls Holiday Park

And this year he’s nominated once more, for “The Incontinence Supermarket” and their on hold marketing’s request for customers to “Please hold …. “

It’s the awards ceremony next Saturday and he needs a new dinner jacket. So we decided to have a Bank Holiday trip to Newcastle, and take the Littlest Voiceover with us to help pick out his new glad rags. 

Not a good plan. The 5 year old INSISTED that a pink linen suit (with shorts combo) was the right look for this auspicious occasion. We promptly abandoned the suit shopping with Ian stating  “Ibizan mid life crisis is not the look I’m going for”. 

So we tried again when Amber was at school, obviously in a more flamboyant mood this time he surprisingly announces en route … “I’m not closed off to the idea of crushed velvet”

I drilled down into this, and discovered it’s actually UN-crushed velvet he’s open to, which still seems a tall order for our local shopping centre, 5 mins down the road. 

But as serendipity would have it, the first shop we walk into has a rainbow selection of velvet dinner jackets, in bottle green, midnight blue, milk tray man black, scarlet red and party purple. Unfortunately they only had his size in the scarlet red, so that was reluctantly tried on to check the fit. 

The jacket hunt now looks like a fox hunt.

It’s a touch roomy, and “Master of foxhounds” even less the desired look for the occasion.

He tried on his preferred midnight blue in the smaller size, it fit … but only just. Unbuttoned was fine, buttoned was borderline ok, pre 3 course meal. They offered to order it in the next size up, but couldn’t guarantee it would arrive in time. So a slightly small, mighnight blue, velvet, dinner jacket is now hanging in the wardrobe awaiting awards night.   

Amber and I will be home in our pyjamas next Saturday, while Ian slips into his new jacket, and finds out if he’ll be bringing home any silverware. 

We’ll be cheering him on in all his nominated categories, Male Voiceover Artist of the Year, Best Radio Commercial, and, of course, Best Outtake, and whilst he may struggle to urge those incontinence sufferers to “please hold”, we’ll have everything crossed that on the night he can hold it together, hold his head high and hold it in !

 

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Working with Covid

Covid 19 finally got us !

It started with the Littlest Voiceover. 

Ian was out for the evening, commentating on British Speedway Network. 5 minutes before bedtime, the five year old spoke the doom-laden words… “I feel sick”. 

I try to brush it under the carpet, “go to sleep now, and I’m sure you’ll feel better in the morn…” 

Nope. 

I saw the panic in her eyes, and the sick was no longer under the proverbial carpet, it was very much ON the carpet.

As Ian was elsewhere in the country shouting about the high speed action at the speedway track, I was trying to calm Amber, whilst also changing her pyjamas & bedding and scrubbing the carpet. Thinking that’s strange, this sick has no smell … 

Ian returned from the Speedway past midnight to carnage. 

He was greeted in the hallway by a 5ft teddy bear covered in luminous pink vomit.

Said bear having been abandoned en route to the washing machine because the next wave arrived quicker than the dash to the kitchen. Likewise there was abandoned sheets, bedding and pyjamas strewn across the now treacherous path to the washing machine because the waves kept coming, and they were relentless. 

One minute he was on TV screens across the world, the next he was up to his armpits in vomit. The glamorous life of a self employed voice over. 

I tried telling him of my surprise that this vomit does not have a smell, but he was too busy vomiting on top of the vomit to listen. His vomit also gloriously anosmiatic to my nostrils.

Over the next week one by one we all got the 2 lines of doom come up on the lateral flows. Amber first, then Ian a few days later, and a few days later mine – though the odourless vomit foretold of its inevitability. 

We were all poorly with it, gastro symptoms first, followed by the ubiquitous covid cough. Ian and I have both had 2 jabs and a booster, and whilst unwell our symptoms were thankfully manageable at home for all of us. 

But there’s no ringing in sick for us. Being self employed means no work = no money, so we had to muddle through the best we could. Triple vaxxed met triple vexed. 

With a poorly 5 year old who needed her Mam, followed by an isolating but hyper 5 year old I had my hands full. So Ian was having to do all the off mic work I usually do, as well as the voice work. 

Who had it worse is difficult to say, looking after a 5 year old whilst feeling ill yourself is its own brand of hell. But doubling your workload and having to juggle it with running to the loo every 5 minutes and coughing non stop, was certainly a challenging set of circumstances for a professional voice over. 

It’s fair to say that there was more washing got done than working. But we’re out the other side of it now. 

The long awaited joy of the one line LFTs, meant we finally managed to get out of the house the second week of the Easter holidays.

Amber’s Encanto obsession is at a new level, having watched it approximately 1 gazillion times. Any voice overs that require a child singing “we don’t talk about Bruno” … she is definitely your girl ! 

Ian managed to make it through a hastily re-arranged remote commentary, swapping his usual VO mic for a lip mic to disguise the coughing, and he even got away without having to use the emergency bucket shamefully positioned in the corner of the studio. 

And after swapping invoices and presentations, for convalescing and crafts, I’m catching up with the backlog now with the Littlest Voiceover back to school. Ian is safely ensconced in the studio producing podcasts without the danger of vomiting (or worse) hanging over him. 

The only reminder of our covid experience being the stubborn refusal of my sense of smell to return. So it’s all systems go – if you need a Northern Male Voiceover or a Child Voiceover with an Encanto obsession give us a shout, and we’d be delighted to work with you. 

We’ve defeated the ‘rona, and it would be time to sit back and enjoy the sweet smell of victory … but well, I still can’t smell anything 👃🏻🤪

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Ian goes full throttle with a new job and a new microphone !

A new streaming service launches this weekend, with award winning voiceover and Speedway Superfan Ian Brannan as lead commentator.
Ian is delighted to be part of the commentary team on the new live streaming service, British Speedway Network, when the tapes go up this weekend!
A life long speedway fan, Ian grew up as a fan of Halifax and Bradford through the 80’s and 90’s, but now gets to bring the future of speedway viewing to fans all over the world.
British Speedway Network will bring over 30 matches from British Speedway’s 2nd tier ‘The Championship’, live or on demand across the season. Ian is proud to be providing the commentary alongside Great Britain (and Speedway of Nations World Champion) joint Team Manager Olly Allen
Across the season Ian and the team will visit all 11 championship clubs, and if you can’t be there, you’ll still feel a part of it as BSN brings you all the latest news and interviews, all the action from the track and latest updates from the pits.
There will also be additional insight for fans with recently retired rider Paul Bowen sharing his track knowledge and the key areas & angles riders will be looking to exploit in order to gain an advantage. Paul will also be joined by Hayley Bromley in the pits to bring rider and manager interviews throughout the meeting.
It starts from 630pm this Saturday, with Ian and the team bringing you all the drama, the thrills and spills, as Berwick Bandits take on Birmingham Brummies. And there’s some exciting battles expected with Berwick providing the biggest track in British league speedway, with 2 British Champions going head to head as Chris Harris and Adam Ellis  make their first league appearances for their new clubs.
If you want to watch this season’s top meetings from the British Speedway Championship, and hear Ian’s dulcet tones bringing it all to life in your living room (or wherever you choose to watch it !) visit British Speedway Network on line to subscribe.