Radio Times is on the hunt for the nation's favourite radio voice.
We've narrowed the field down to 20 of the best male and female voices working on the radio right now, via our panel of experts – Jeremy Vine (Radio 2), Eddie Mair (Radio 4 and RT columnist), John Humphrys (Radio 4), Sue MacGregor (Radio 4), Nick Ferrari (LBC), Lesley Douglas (former controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music), Gemma Cairney (Radio 1, Radio Radio 1Xtra and BBC World Service), Andy Kershaw (Radio 3 and Radio 4), Stuart Maconie (6 Music and RT columnist), Clemency Burton-Hill (Radio 3) and Jane Anderson (RT radio editor).
Check out the full shortlist below – there are 20 women and 20 men to choose from. When you've made your decision, vote for your favourite in the polls below or add your own choice in the comments box below.
Radio 2’s traffic reporter’s voice is so trusted it’s been used for a sat nav. Rile her and a Welsh dragon is roused, though.
An infectious happiness pulsates through the speech of Heart’s breakfast show Spice Girl.
Fresh, young, female, she’s made an indelible mark on Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra, but is now cutting a swathe on the World Service and popping up on Radio 4.
Clear, sympathetic and multitalented Radio 4 newsreader from Belfast. “She can also play the ukulele,” points out Sue MacGregor.
Since the departure of Charlotte Green, many feel that Corrie has become the voice of Radio 4 news and continuity.
The precise diction, the gentle northern vowels, the obsession with her subject… that why listeners love Dillon on Radio 4’s
Is the BBC’s intrepid chief international correspondent’s accent Irish? American? No, she’s from French-speaking Canada.
Woman’s Hour presenter, formerly a brilliant Drive show host on 5 Live, often sounds like she is repressing a laugh, which is only to her credit.
Her husky, sultry tones have even led to her voice being mistaken for that of a man on her shows for Absolute
She left the BBC for Classic FM only to return as the voice of the football scores on
Sports Report. Result: Radio 5 Live – 1, Radio 4 – nil.
No one lasts on the
Today programme without having an authoritative voice, but with its elegant timbre Husain’s is also rewardingly easy on the ear.
There’s an intimacy to Laverne’s voice that, combined with her Sunderland accent, proves irresistible to her fans on 6 Music and Radio 4.
The former lead singer of Catatonia, now a 6 Music presenter, was born just a few miles from the birthplace of John Humphrys. But her Cardiff accent is a little stronger…
“A voice that is as welcoming as it is warm,” says Nick Ferrari of the Classic FM presenter.
The Choir, Hear & Now) is one of Radio 3’s most reassuring voices. Such clarity, such warmth.
“Velvety, authoritative and simply very, very easy to listen to,” says Lesley Douglas of the
Woman’s Hour host.
Her crystal-clear Scottish tones can be heard reading the news not just on Radio 4, but also on Radio 4 Extra and Radio 3.
Formerly heard at Virgin Radio and Heart, Harriet now presents a weekend show on Magic with her uplifting, vital voice.
The Radio 3 presenter has a calm, clear reassurance that typifies the appeal of the network.
With her lush, velvet timbre, the
Desert Island Discs presenter has proven irresistible to listeners and castaways since she took over hosting duties in 2006.
Vote for your favourite female radio voice
The brilliant Steve Allen has been with LBC since 1979. The older he gets, the camper and cheekier he becomes. Is there a more mischievous voice on the air today?
Newshour on the BBC World Service, with a voice that makes you trust its owner, wherever you are.
The Radio 3 man “has a lovely dark rich chocolatey voice,” says panellist Sue MacGregor, admiringly.
Blowers, to his friends both inside and outside the
Test Match Special commentary box, has a voice as plummy as jam. Our last link with the halcyon days of John Arlott and Brian Johnson.
If ever there was a DJ who sounds like he’s talking directly to you – and only to you – it’s Radio 2’s Ken.
RT columnist Stuart Maconie’s a fan of the Radio 2 and 6 Music newsreader’s “smooth” voice, which can also be heard on shampoo adverts.
Aka Brian Aldridge in
The Archers. Brian may be a bit of a cad, but with that powerful, deep voice, he’s nearly always forgiven for his misdemeanours.
A mainstay of Radio 4’s
I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. If Cryer wasn’t messing about all the time, you’d realise there’s a real beauty to his unmistakable gravelly chuckle.
For more than three decades the voice of football on the radio. Mostly passionate, sometimes abrasive, ofte baffled but always exciting, Saturday afternoons wouldn’t be the same without him.
Sometimes stern, sometimes gruff, sometimes surprisingly warm. The resident interrogator on the
Today programme for three decades is feared by politicians.
The warm and witty BBC Radio Leeds presenter is a former Radio 2 regular, and often pops up on Radio 5 Live’s
The Radio 4 presenter has “a voice that goes down as easy as a good malt,” says LBC’s Nick Ferrari, “but beware of the scimitar-like kick lurking before the final glug.”
Love him or loathe him, it’s undeniable that his ribald tones bring joy to the 300,000 listeners now tuning in to his breakfast show on Radio X.
“It may not be a honed, honeyed, radio voice… but it has such energy that I find it impossible to hear his voice without simply feeling in a better mood,” says Lesley Douglas.
His east London voice works just as convincingly on his daytime show on Radio 1Xtra as it does on his night-time show for Radio 2.
When the heavily accented Jamaican-born continuity announcer arrived at Radio 4 in 2006, he caused a stir. Now he’s loved by the listeners.
The Northern Irish broadcaster presents Radio 3’s
In Tune and makes a two-hour live session at drive time, every day of the week, sound totally effortless.
Lord Reith wouldn’t have approved of “Europe’s biggest hip-hop DJ” and all his dropped aitches. But listeners to his 1Xtra show do.
A newsreader by training, you can now hear his voice – authoritative with a rich creaminess – on Classic FM.
Russ’s voice, on Absolute Radio, reminds radio anoraks of the great 1970s DJ Roger Scott at Capital.
Vote for your favourite male radio voice