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‘And, the mystery announcer is… Zoe Diamond.’
Zoe Diamond, snagged from YouTube

A few days ago, I posted a light-hearted critique about the BBC World Service (WS) radio programme. In the post, I mentioned a female continuity announcer whose name has eluded me for nearly five years but who had a tendency to start a sentence with the coordinating conjunction, and. Well, the mystery has been solved. Paul Blythe, a WS Continuity Editor, has responded to my email and revealed that the announcer is the freelance continuity announcer, Zoe Diamond. In my earlier post, I had speculated that this was the case but dismissed it when I listened to other broadcasts she had made. Clearly, I was wrong. My hearing impairment had let me down.

Paul explained that continuity announcements are all pre-recorded. Zoe is a prolific WS continuity announcer and, occasionally, snippets from earlier announcements are re-used thus accounting for some of the initial and coordinating conjunctions. I accept that explanation. You can hear examples of her delightful speaking manner on the Harvey Voices website.

Paul also responded to two other comments I’d made.

The Hello in the introduction to the news summary is deliberate and intended to mimic the way we greet each other in real life. Fair doos. Whether the Hello is included or not is up to the news’ producers, apparently, which explains why sometimes it’s omitted.

The mid-way embedded BBC News announcement within the news summaries is also deliberate. The BBC World Service partners with other broadcasters around the world and the BBC News marker is an opt-out point for those partners who wish to continue from thereon with their own material.

Thank you, Paul, for your explanations, and to Dejan Calovski, a member of the BBC’s Audience Relations team who first acknowledged my email and then forwarded to Paul for answers. My curiosity is now satisfied and, ironically, I may sleep better at nights!

Bert and Mavis sing-along, sung with gusto to the tune of Widecombe Fair.
For details of the 2020 Bert and Mavis book, see here.