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The Dream Team
Without them thousands of bikers from France and Germany would be lost. Mavis Brown and Heike Perry take to the air waves every TT week to translate the race commentary. Over the years they have earned themselves a TT celebrity status.
“My name is Mavis Brown and my job title is French Translator but actually I don’t do much translating at all! It’s more about chatting to the French visitors and trying to keep everyone up to date with the results and the weather forecasts. Obviously I try to keep on top of how the French riders are doing as well.
“Some years ago they were doing some advertisements at Manx Radio and they wanted a voice murmuring in French in the background. I got that job and then the next thing I knew I got a call saying that Manx Radio were thinking of having a French speaker on Radio TT and did I fancy doing it? So that was it, I took the job and that was that.
“It can get quite hairy in that grandstand studio. The results are given in miles per hour and of course I then need to do quick calculations to convert the times into kilometres per hour. When you have a lot of times to do all at once, the pressure is on. Sometimes we do the conversion in our heads but sometimes we resort to using the calculator. I once announced that a rider had completed a lap with an average time of 2000 miles an hour. A bit embarrassing.
“I have some interesting encounters with bikers. The French visitors always want to come up and introduce themselves but the English bikers are the funniest. They come up and say, I can’t understand a word of what you are saying but it’s wonderful! I do love the sound of your voice!
“My name is Heike and in my normal life I am a German teacher living and working here on the Isle of Man. I really enjoy working for radio TT. It’s about keeping people up to date with what’s happening but also keeping people entertained. If we were just juggling around figures like a machine it would be a bit boring.
“We also do a little bit of research and we try to meet all the riders in the paddock. That’s really important because when you are talking about these people during the racing you can talk about what they said to you and what they are like as people.
“I don’t see myself as a celebrity at all. I am still star struck when I walk around and meet the riders. People like John McGuinness, now he’s a real legend. He has earned celebrity status here at the TT. Being interviewed right now certainly feels a bit weird!”
“I always laugh when people tell me I’ve got a sexy voice. It happened yesterday when I went to meet some of the German sidecar outfits. Of course I blushed as I should do as a female.
“We have some great times up at the Grandstand especially when the races are delayed. Occasionally you have to talk for a long time about very little but we always have a lot of fun too.
“I always get teased for being German- it’s very innocent and good natured. But one day I thought, I am not going to take this lying down, so I brought in my beach towel and draped it over MY space in studio to indicate that nobody else could sit there. That showed them.”
last updated: 10/06/2009 at 17:20
Have Your Say
Have you heard the girls on Radio TT?
Rob from Southport
Daryl from Whiteabbey
Andrew from Kent