Zeb Soanes was brought-up in Lowestoft, Suffolk and read Drama and Creative Writing at UEA. He taught drama, toured Britain as an actor and his vocal dexterity caught the attention of the BBC.
In 1998 he joined BBC Television in London as an announcer on BBC ONE and TWO and was chosen as the first voice to welcome viewers to the digital channel BBC FOUR when it launched in March 2002 on a special simulcast night with BBC TWO; he remained the channel’s sole announcer throughout its first year to help shape and establish its identity. He moved to Radio 4 to put the Nation to bed with The Shipping Forecast and is a Newsreader across every programme from Today, PM and the Six O’Clock News to The News Quiz with Sandi Toksvig, accompanying the programme on its first visit to the Edinburgh Festival in 2013. He was asked to read the shipping forecast to a worldwide audience of over a billion during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has broadcast it from the top of a lighthouse and been sampled into a dance mix by Cassette Boy. He acted with Toby Jones in the radio drama Beautiful Dreamers, had a close shave with Hollywood’s most infamous barber reporting from for From Our Own Correspondent and presented three hours of favourite sea-inspired music for BBC Radio 3’s Saturday Classics.
On television he is an established presenter of The Proms, live on BBC FOUR and has made films for The Culture Show, Newsnight and Songs of Praise. For the Royal Opera House he has hosted summer opera and ballet before audiences of 8,000 in Trafalgar Square relayed to Big Screens and thousands more viewers in cities around the UK. The children’s author and creator of Horrid Henry, Francesca Simon has featured Zeb as the newsreader in her book for older children, ‘The Lost Gods’ and The Aldeburgh Festival invited Zeb to be the Voice of God in Benjamin Britten’s opera Noye’s Fludde to celebrate the composer's Centenary.
Zeb lives in North London and returns to Suffolk whenever he can.