The Audio Oubliette

You may have noticed a distinct lack of postage around my gaff of late*. Which probably means you'll have ended up with one of those irritating little postcards thingies from the royal mail saying, 'Someone's sent you a letter! We're not going to tell you who they are, or what they've sent, but they've fucked up on the number of stamps and now you're going to have to make a 28 mile round trip to the nearest depot and cough up £1.19 to find out!' Or something like that.

And it always turns out to be some sodding crap you've got no interest in, doesn't it?

Anyway, I digress. The reason I've not been about for a while is that I've been down in Bath, sitting in an airless cupboard, locked away from the sunshine, while recording the unabridged audio version of Blind Eye. See? That's me there...

Stuart is sexy, in an audio stylie...

To be honest, when they asked me to do it I thought, 'Yeah, why not? How hard can it be?'

Bloody. That's the answer. It's bloody hard. And I'm not talking, 'changing the oil on a Fiat Panda' tough, I'm talking 'performing keyhole surgery on your own kneecaps' tough. With a potato peeler.

And to make matters even worse, the book's full of Polish names like: Lubomir Podwoiski, Gorzałkowska,Wisniewski, Bielatowicz, Gorzkiewicz... none of which are pronounced the way they look. And that's before we even get on to the actual Polish.

The pain. THE PAIN!

Luckily I had expert guidance in the personage of Jennifer, head honcho at Talking Issues,** sitting on the other side of the glass and putting up with ... well, me for a whole week (normally she's used to professional actors, who know what they're doing and stuff). Ably supported by the lovely Caroline and Sue.

Jennifer has many signs to motivate beardy writers...

In addition to doing all the audio books in the world (this may be a slight exaggeration on my part) they also do spoken word editions of the Economist. Which is pretty cool and gets a HUGE number of downloads every week.

Now I can hear you shrugging your shoulders from here. Stop it. I'm not banging on about the Economist thing merely to big up the company, no: this is shameless self-promotion! That's right, after about a decade in the professional voice-over wilderness, I have made my triumphant return. Fed up with listening to me fluff my reading of chapter fifty two for the umpteenth time, Jennifer got me to read one of the stories in this week's Economist instead. So business leaders the world over will be listening to me telling them about how Dubai frowns on displays of public naughtiness.***

Hurrah! Fame at last.

* Ooh - he sounds just like something off the Sweeny, doesn't he?
** Plug, plug: If you have an audio need, why not contact Talking Issues - your one stop shop for all your reading-out-loud-stuff needs.
*** Free download if you're a subscriber, or a paltry £4.00 if you just want to know what I sound like after four days in the studio.

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