Hello, I’m Anne Dover.
I am the narrator of over 1,000 unabridged books, which I’ve been happy to record for many publishers, at a number of studios throughout the UK during the last 30 years. Recording and telling stories has been one of the highlights of my long career.
Let me explain how I got started.
I grew up in Weardale in north-west Durham with my sister in a family of singers (and talkers!!) My dad (when he wasn’t working at the pit) was a preacher, and when he preached the rest of us sang Gospel songs, accompanied by my mother. My sister (who became singer/cabaret artiste Patti King) and I competed against each other at Eisteddfods organised by the Methodist Chapels in singing and reciting competitions. This was our stage, and where at the tender age of 8 years onwards I found an audience!
Later (because at the time I had ‘the right look’) in the 60s I found myself in demand as a model, touring the UK with the Louise James agency, who staged some of the first ever choreographed fashion shows. These led to various TV appearances, and then when the first local commercial radio station opened in Newcastle, namely Metro Radio, I began my love affair with the microphone! I absolutely found my niche. I simply loved broadcasting, and presented a music show, and was a newsreader there for about 5 years.
I continued with appearances in TV dramas and Emmerdale (on one occasion), and voicing hundreds of TV and radio commercials, including presenting the Head and Shoulders shampoo advertising campaign which ran for several years in the 1970s.
As an actress, my TV appearances include:
Pride of Our Alley
Too Close to the Edge
A Kind of Loving
Book Tower (children’s TV)
I also appeared in the film “What a Crazy World”.
Then one day, one of my friends came to stay with me and showed me the book she was ‘reading’. It was an audiobook, the first one I had ever seen. She sadly, was losing her sight, so audiobooks had become a very important part of her life. I quickly phoned the producers, Soundings, and asked if I could audition for them. Happily they offered me work, and from there began an enduring relationship with my listeners, and the characters in every book I record.
To be a good narrator means being able to take my listener on a journey, where I will try to interpret all of the characters in the story, giving them individual voices, and accents where necessary, bringing them to life in a way that is pleasing to the ear. My listeners and I will share a wonderful intimate experience, and when I finish telling the story, I hope they will be sorry when I say “you have been listening to…”.
I love my job, and yes, I cry real tears sometimes in the sad parts, because for those few minutes, I have become the characters whose dog died, whose child was ill, whose husband goes to war. Finally, my greatest hope is that I will have brought to life a story that we have shared together.