BBC Radio Blog

All next week, with the return of The Voice UK on BBC One, Radio 2 will be celebrating and exploring the most magical, incredible, beautiful instrument ever created: the human voice.

Hear the trailer for our week of special programmes celebrating the human voice.

For me, producing this series has been an extraordinary experience; forcing me for the first time to consider the joy and complexity of the sound we make when we open our mouths. In song and in speech, our voices tell the rest of the world how we think and feel. They educate, inform, attract, entertain and offend.

The Voice on Radio 2 will showcase the full sweep of issues relating to human speech and song. The Jeremy Vine Show will look at losing one's voice and selective mutism, as well as exploring freedom of speech and the origin of British accents.

At the end of the week, Jeremy will be inviting the UK’s best-loved and best-known voices to take part in an extraordinary broadcast. Imagine sharing a drink with The London Underground, Tony the Tiger, Postman Pat, Siri, Big brother, the National Lottery and Mr X Factor all in one studio at the same time. The Radio 2 Voice Party will be at 1pm on Friday 19 April. 

I must say that, having spoken to a number of voice artists, I’ve been struck by their sense of frustration – sadness, even – that their field is shrouded in mystery. Their voices are instantly recognisable. By rights, they should be stopped on the street and asked for their autograph every five paces. And yet they are every bit as anonymous as you or me. Such is the nature of their business.

One major insurance company has blocked the actor behind their famous Russian fluff ball from taking part, in fear of bursting their hugely successful marketing bubble. Here is a man with great talent and pride in his art, being refused any public recognition of his notable contribution to pop culture over the last five years. We can assume he is paid handsomely for his work, but imagine enjoying Adele, without ever being able to identify the woman behind the voice. On the 19th of April, Radio 2 does its bit to right that wrong (for some of our favourite voices, at least).

Looking beyond the Jeremy Vine Show, The Voice Week on Radio 2 spans virtually every programme across the network.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Monday will feature the US phenomenon, 15-year-old Jake Foushee. Jake is huge news in America and now he's ready to wow Britain with the amazing voice that's already earning him appearances on US primetime shows and voiceover work in Hollywood:

Clare Balding will be asking people what the voice of God sounds like to them. Elaine Paige will make a surprise mystery call to an unsuspecting fan to see if they recognise her voice. Vanessa Feltz will be searching for the country’s sexiest voice.

Chris Tarrant – in for Steve Wright – will be learning how to be a football commentator and then trying out his new skills at a Luton Town FC match on Thursday night.  Simon Mayo is bringing back his celebrity Mystery Voice feature for Drivetime, while Ken Bruce and Lynne Bowles will read traffic reports in one another’s accents.

Without the human voice, there would be no radio. This week, Radio 2 finally acknowledges the brilliance of the most peculiar instrument known to man and celebrates those who showcase its range and beauty. It’s about time, too.

The Voice Week on BBC Radio 2. Listen to it. Please talk about it. Share it... on Twitter, on Facebook, by email and yes... by word of mouth!

 

Andy West is Producer, The Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 2

Comments

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by doddle

    on 19 Apr 2013 11:57

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 8. Posted by TMan

    on 18 Apr 2013 20:07

    It's from Luther on BB1

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by DeeW

    on 17 Apr 2013 15:42

    You're welcome. It was bugging me too!! :)

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by fireintheblood

    on 17 Apr 2013 11:59

    Thank you DeeW :)

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by DeeW

    on 16 Apr 2013 23:14

    The song is Paradise Circus by Massive Attack :)

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by fireintheblood

    on 16 Apr 2013 20:30

    I also would love to know what the song is in the advert for voice week on the radio. I think it was also a theme tune for a drama series??
    Help! Its driving me mad!

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by splatsnug

    on 16 Apr 2013 20:30

    I come from a real cosmopolitan background so have ' picked up many accents ' not to mention the one's on my 5 years back packing ... so have always been fascinated by how different ' regions ' sound so different. Especially when people have guessed me to ' come from all leaguers of nations '. I have also loved singing and dabbled in my church choir but now wish to take it a whole lot more seriously but I just cant seem to find a ' half decent voice couch for my half decent money ' . Any idea's - I am based in Bushey Hertfordshire and would like to get onto a ' half decent singing career '. Thanks you' ll. x

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by sacha0787

    on 15 Apr 2013 22:07

    Can I ask what is the song in the advert for this on the radio?

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Ian

    on 15 Apr 2013 14:41

    A celebration of the joy, complexity and power of the human voice...awesome!
    Culminating on Friday April 19th!...that's my birthday!
    On April 19th 2010 (my 50th birthday) I set out on a singing tour of the entire UK mainland
    On April 19th 2011 (my 51st birthday) I did my last show of the tour...366 shows in 366 towns in 366 consecutive days!
    Yes the human voice is an incredible thing!
    :)

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