Who said that?

PUBLISHED: 19:50 12 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:16 20 February 2013

Gary Terzza

Gary Terzza

We hear them every day on radio or television, but not many people know what they look like – Claire Pitcher discovers the faces behind the microphones of three of Hertfordshire's most famous voices

We hear them every day on radio or television, but not many people know what they look like Claire Pitcher discovers the faces behind the microphones of three of Hertfordshires most famous voices

Gary Terzza is continuity announcer for Channel 4

I started as an on-screen announcer with Central ITV in Birmingham a few days after I graduated from university in 1982 when I was 22, says Redbourns Gary Terzza. Even in those days there was a recession and not only had I actually got a job (unlike many of my friends who graduated at the same time), but I was on the telly!

For the last 20 years, Gary has not only been continuity announcer for Channel 4 and More 4, he also coaches beginners to become voice-over artists at his own company, Voice-Over MasterClass, with studios in Dane End and London.

Ive introduced hundreds, if not thousands, of programmes. So if you have ever watched Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Gordon Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares or Location, Location, Location, chances are you have heard me, he reveals. Not only that, hes also narrated documentaries for Channel 4, Channel 5 and BBC South, plus, back in the 90s, he was one of the voices on music channel VH-1.

Breaking in to the voice over business isnt all about luck however; when Gary went for the job at Channel 4 he was a bag of nerves: They have a rigorous selection procedure. Because announcing is live they like to know that you can cope if it all goes wrong; they simulated an on-air breakdown and I just burbled on about how I liked watching Channel 4s programmes. I guess they must have thought it was okay, because they offered me the job, says Gary.

Having lived in Redbourn for the last 16 years, he sees Hertfordshire as his adopted home county, but there are still parts he has yet to explore. When hes not busy working, Garys with his two sons, Jack, 10, and eight-year-old Max: They are big film fans, so we often go to the Empire Cinema in Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead. My wife Sue and I love relaxing in the coffee shops of Berkhamsted and Harpenden too. Weve recently discovered a secret tea shop deep in the wilds of Potten End.

Erich Redman plays a German bad guy in Captain America: The First Avenger and is a familiar voice on language tapes

On my first visit I found I really liked England, and I had the impression that English people liked me, more so than Germans did in Germany, or maybe it was just the fact that being a foreigner with a slight accent gave me a special status made me a little more interesting, says actor and voice over artist Erich Redman, who now lives in Abbots Langley.

His first job in showbusiness came one day when a contact of his called and asked if he could fill in for a German voice-over artist recording an advert for Haagen Dazs ice cream. After that, he started enrolling in voice related courses in London, as well as an acting class: I thought: Maybe an acting class wont do any harm in my imminent career as a voice-over artist!

Erich loved acting, even though his parents were totally against it: In their eyes I was throwing my life away, my financial security, my business career, my education everything. In moments of doubt I told myself: If you dont do this now, you will regret it later, and here I am still doing it now, nearly 20 years on!

Erichs filmography is lengthy. Hes had roles in Saving Private Ryan, Charlotte Gray, United 93, BBC sitcom TLC and Morse spin-off Lewis, to name just a few.

Students learning GCSE German may also be interested to know that Erich is the voice on the language CDs in class, guiding them through lines such as Hallo. Mein Name ist Hans. Ich bin 15 Jahre alt und komme aus Berlin.

German language lessons may not be the high point of his career, however, as Erich has a plethora of Hollywood blockbusters to his name. Are there any in particular that stand out for him? I really enjoyed working on a Sir Richard Attenborough film starring Sandra Bullock. It was called In Love and War and was about Hemingways first love affair during World War One with an Austrian nurse in Northern Italy. I also loved working on Saving Private Ryan, because shooting a big Hollywood picture is always very exciting; they seem to have limitless resources, nothing is too much trouble or costs too much.

Abbots Langley may be a far cry from movie sets and celebrity parties, but Erich has a soft spot for Hertfordshire: Its friendly and leafy theres so much green around me. I love jumping into my car and going for a drive. I really enjoy discovering new villages in Hertfordshire, just going for a stroll through the High Street to get a feel for a new place.

Next on the agenda is a French film, Late Bloomers, staring Isabella Rossellini, William Hurt, Joanna Lumley and Lesley Phillips, which will be out in the UK next year. As for his voice-over work: They are usually booked at very short notice, sometimes on the same day, so its difficult to say what Ill be voicing the next week. With the arrival of the internet the turnover rate has become amazingly fast.

Paul J Rose is narrator on Dickinsons Real Deal

Darth Vader, South Parks Eric Cartman, Matt Lucas and a Dalek from Dr Who if you have any of those voices on your TomTom sat nav, then youre probably being directed by Paul J Rose voice-over artist and impressionist from Borehamwood. Fans of antiques show Dickinsons Real Deal may be surprised to find out that he performs the voice-over, although on his own admission, he does sound like a 70-year-old man.

Paul has always loved performing and was involved in amateur dramatics from the age of nine: My friends tell me that I am never off stage, which is probably a polite way of calling me a show-off.

Getting involved with hospital radio at the age of 18, he then worked with a satellite radio station before going on air for an off-shore station in the Mediterranean. Working with character voices came about by accident. Channel 4 ran a trailer for a new cartoon that was going to be starting South Park. It premiered on a Friday night, which is when I typically had friends over, says Paul, and right after Eric Cartman spoke, I repeated what hed said. It was a pretty decent impression and my friends asked me who else I could do, so I started reeling of characters from The Simpsons and the The Muppets, among others. It was then a good friend told me that I should be putting that skill to good use.

Paul then looked into how to become a voice-over artist, produced a demo, posted it online and put his details on a few directories and bit by bit, people got in touch asking for his services. My first big break came when a ring tone company asked me if I could do a selection of celebrity impersonation ring tones and that work helped me to build a great portfolio of voices many of which are still being downloaded around the world today, he says proudly.

Pauls lived in Borehamwood for the last 16 years: It meets my needs in that I can get in to the West End of London where a lot of recording studios are, but I dont have to live there, which I wouldnt want to do. Im a suburbanite, born and bred, and the balance between urban development and rural beauty works well for me. My wife and I enjoy long walks, and the countryside here is just perfect for that.

As for the future, ultimately he just loves to entertain: If I can get to a point where my children are happy to tell their friends that their daddy is the voice of someone that they all enjoy watching, then that would make me the happiest guy in the world. Well, in Hertfordshire at least.

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