Idris Elba unites with creative industry leaders to find UK’s best new voiceover artist

Voiceover Scout, a nationwide talent contest, is looking for a unique sound to break into the industry.

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Voiceover Scout, a nationwide talent search, has launched to find new, exciting, different, diverse and distinctive voices who fancy their chances of becoming commercial voiceover artists.

Open to anyone aged 18 and over, the contest is staged in association with Loud and Clear Voices and No.8 London and conducted by The Bourne Consultancy founder and ex-voiceover agent Melsie Bourne.

The Bourne Consultancy is an independent talent consultancy created to guide clients through the minefield of an ever-changing world of talent on a global and local level. With its international network the team has worked with some of the largest global brands and agencies, securing A-list celebrities, comedians, sports personalities, and rising stars in film, TV, music, fashion and more.

Voiceover Scout was created following Bourne considering two very different issues during the first nation-wide lockdown: her difficulty in finding voices to fulfil some big brand voiceover briefs and secondly, her desire to help someone break into the industry.

The competition has a line-up of judges from some known names in the creative industries including actors Idris Elba, Angela Griffin and John Thomson as well as renowned creative director Trevor Robinson OBE, and other leading creatives, producers and agents.

Elba said: “I’m delighted to have been asked to be a judge for this fantastic new initiative, Voiceover Scout.  It’s such a wonderful industry but can be very hard to break into so I am excited to be playing a part in giving a total newcomer a chance to break through.  Looking forward to hearing some great new voices…”

Thomson added: “I built a sound studio during the first lockdown so I could continue to do my voiceover work. This is such a great opportunity to do something different. What better way to fill some time during this second lockdown.”

Judge Jim Thornton, deputy executive creative director, VCCP, said: “Brands nowadays crave authenticity in all aspects of their advertising but the voiceover world has been curiously slow to both spot and adapt to this trend. Voiceover Scout is a brilliant idea, and I hope merely the beginning of an influx of modern, diverse, distinctive, real voices into the world of commercials.”

Melsie added: “Being a voiceover is not as easy as it sounds. It comes with a lot of pressure. It’s not just reading a script. It’s reading a script that has taken a creative team weeks to craft. You’ll be reading in a studio with the client and you’ll be expected to bring it to life for the first time.

“Professional voiceovers are great if you want accents, performance, or a well-known voice, but less so if you are after different, diverse and distinctive voices. Brands have never been more conscious of reflecting the incredible diversity of  the UK in the casting of their ads, and now they’re looking for different, diverse and distinctive voices to be the voice of their brands too.”

Despite having some 25 years experience between them, the team at The Bourne Consultancy have been having increasing difficulty finding these voices within the existing professional voiceover community, and have now extended their search to the nation.

The winner of Voiceover Scout will be given the chance to break into what has been, until now, a closed industry, which is why the competition winner will be represented by a leading London voiceover agency, and given the opportunity to record a professionally produced showreel.

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