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Acting for Radio

Acting for BBC Radio

Do you want to become a radio actor, send us a voice tape or take part in BBC Radio Drama Workshops? Information updated May 2017

How do I get work as an actor on radio?

There are numerous ways, but the most likely are the following:

  • Your work might be heard in the theatre, on TV, in film – and you might be cast in a radio play on the strength of that performance
  • You may have auditioned for a role in a specific project (though Radio rarely holds auditions for casting unless producers are seeking specific dialects or vocal ranges)
  • You may have attended an actors’ workshop run by Radio Drama and been recommended on the strength of your performance at that
  • You may send an unsolicited email to a staff member of BBC Radio Drama Dept enquiring about work. The timing of your email may be crucial, especially if you are about to appear on stage, or in a Radio or TV production that we can catch.
  • PLEASE NOTE : we no longer accept voice reels [see below]

Can I submit a voice reel?

No - BBC Radio Drama no longer accepts hard copy voice reels on CD.

Instead we now ask actors to add voice clips to their Spotlight CVs. You can email the link to the Radio Drama Company Co-ordinator, Clare Ewing at, who will then be able to circulate the info to the wider department. This will ensure that producers have access to all your details in one place.

Please do not attach MP3 clips to emails, as we have limited email inbox space.

What should my voice clips include?

They should illustrate the range and versatility of your voice.

Radio Drama generally suggests the following:

  • select no more than 8 pieces, each approx 1 minute long
  • make sure they’re contrasting
  • make sure that they cover a range that, where possible, includes some demonstration of all or some of the following:

    1. Comedy
    2. Classic drama
    3. Contemporary prose
    4. Native accent or dialect
    5. Something from contemporary theatre
    6. You may wish to include a poetic reading
    7. Include any accents/dialects with which you are comfortable

What will happen after I've made contact?

If your email is sent to Clare Ewing, she will direct programme makers to your Spotlight page.

Producers may then consider you for future roles if there are suitable ones.

But making contact and directing us to your Spotlight voice clips is still NO GUARANTEE that we will cast you in our productions.

But what if my voice clips are well received?

You could be invited in to meet a producer who is casting in your voice range

You could be asked to come in to audition for a role in production

You could be invited to an actors' workshop

What are Actor's Workshops?

Radio Drama holds these as required throughout the year.

Workshops are held in a BBC Drama studio (where possible) and the sessions recorded for private audition

Copies of the workshop recording may be circulated after the event to other Drama producers.

Workshops usually focus on a specific voice range, e.g. a workshop for older character actresses, young male voices that can range from teens to late twenties, etc.

Attendance is through invitation. This might arise from any one of the following:

  • A producer has worked with you and recommends you to others
  • A producer has heard your work and wants to see how your voice would work on Radio
  • You’ve sent a link to your voice clips on Spotlight – and they were liked
  • Your work has been seen on TV or on stage.

After the workshop

  • You might be offered a freelance engagement in a radio play
  • You might be offered a contract with the Radio Drama Company
  • Your workshop recording will be available to other Drama directors in the department