“That has got to be the worst pirate I have ever seen”

No that isn’t a rebuke for a dodgy download.

The famous quote from Pirates of the Caribbean, is one which guest of the week, Tom Hollander, knows only too well having played Lord Cutler Beckett in the famous franchise.

At Cambridge Tom studied English. It is also where he took the title role in a memorable production of Cyrano de Bergerac that brought together an interesting assortment of talent. Sam Mendes, a childhood friend from Oxford, was the director, their pal Tom Piper was designer, and Nick Clegg played Carbon de Castel-Jaloux.

So more the thesp, director and politician than the lion, the witch and the wardrobe!

Moviegoers will have seen Tom as a penniless aristo in Gosford Park, as hapless minister Simon Foster in The Loop, and as creepy-sounding choreographer/child catcher in the fairytale movie Hanna.

From December to March of this year you can catch him in Richard Eyre’s production of Flea in her Ear at the Old Vic.

However it is Tom’s latest TV performance in Rev that is winning him all sorts of new fans.

Lily Allen tweeted her love of Rev, which sees Tom playing the embattled leader of a tiny, rackety congregation in grimy East London:

“Tom Hollander is my favourite British actor, very very funny”

This coming from someone with an often acidic cyber-tongue is high praise indeed!

So Tom packs quite an a-list punch, but at just 5ft5in let’s hope he doesn’t get into a real fight!


So after an extensive session, recording a myriad of foreign voices, we asked resident A1 VOX engineer Chris“how do you go about organising such sessions?”

Our intrepid audio goon had this to say on the matter:

Rule 1 of foreign voice over – we don’t talk about fore…oops, sorry, wrong list. What I mean to say is that the translations will be picked apart by every language artist that comes in.

Never assume you will be able to start a session without a voice artist pointing out the inadequacies of the translation they have been given, and how to improve it – which of course is very helpful, apart from when you’ve been asked not to deviate from the given script; as it has been approved by clients.

Always record two versions – one that is exactly as written, unless the artist say’s that it’s complete gobbledygook, and one translated as the voice artist wishes. Send both to the client and diplomatically ask if they think the new translation is an improvement.

Rule 2 of foreign voice over – LABEL EVERYTHING!!!! If you don’t know your Turkish from your Kurdish, your Thai from your Taiwanese; then you will be kicking yourself if you don’t have everything clearly labelled!

Rule 3 of foreign voice over – if you have time, play everything recorded back to the artist, and make sure they are confident that they haven’t fluffed or mispronounced anything.

Rule 4 of foreign voice over – If you feel that something sounded hesitant, it probably was. The voice artist might assure you it was ok, but when they do it again, you will notice that it didn’t sound hesitant the second time around.

No matter what the language, the human ear can pick up on unfamiliarity and beat pauses that were not meant to be included.

Trust your judgement, even when someone tells you it’s ok.

Rule 5 of foreign voice over – copious cups of tea are essential to recording any language, but especially ones you don’t understand very well!”

Thanks Chris – that is a top trump lesson. There can be no more excuses for anyone out there battling with a foreign voice over session. This blog should become your bible.


I haven’t done any celeb spotting on the streets for a while now so I thought I would share my double whammy Valentine’s Day experience with you all.

There I was minding my own business and on my way to a free cut and colour when I stumbled across a rather large group of grown men prancing about on Old Compton Street with Proton packs on their back!!??.

This can only mean one thing, I thought, – the council have finally had enough of the ruddy pigeons and decided to exterminate the whole blooming lot. Heartless measure to take on Valentines Day!

However on closer inspection I noticed the group were huddled around Gerry’s Wine and Spirits.

Dutch courage before the V Day massacre?????

NO – in fact the furore was all for the benefit of Mr Dan Aykroyd – aka Mr Ghostbuster.

It seems that Dan was camped out in the Soho drink emporium to promote Crystal Head Vodka – the most recent and innovative vodka brand to hit the spirits market and created by none other than Mr Aykroyd himself.

It was quite a sight to behold as the nerdy collective of Ghostbuster fans all queued to get a signed bottle of vodka when all they really wanted was Ray Parker Jrs. hit Ghostbusters playing out whilst they neutralised vapours, entities and other low life spectral deviants, thus preventing chaos on the streets of Soho,…..and ultimately saving the day…Gulp!

So I moved quickly on to my hairdressing appointment where woman of the moment, England’s answer to Rihanna, and girlfriend to Rob Kardashian, – Rita Ora was also getting her locks chopped. Or should I say extended as Rita had been in the salon for 7 hours having her extensions removed and replaced!!!!!

Brother Kardashian stayed with her throughout the whole process even when she suggested he go back to their hotel suite – it must have been Valentines love……or maybe the free beer they kept giving him, but he stuck with her throughout the whole ordeal!

If you would like to be a free hair model, and do a bit of celeb spotting at the same time, then give Percy and Reed a call. A-List hair without opening up the purse strings – Sir, Yes, Sir!

So end’eth another Blog. Who knows what A1 VOX insights we will be delving into next week but be sure to tune in and find out oh loyal followers of Soho’s friendliest studio.