Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Why Does BBC Radio 2 Employ Carmen Squire?

She has been working for Radio 2 for more than seven years (perhaps a lot longer). She has also done other work for the BBC, it is said.

Why might this be a problem? The answer is found within the character of the work that this individual does. Under most circumstances, it would be possible for a listener to Radio 2 who dislikes someone to avoid them.

Carmen Squire is, however, a character who does 'voiceovers', and has unaccountably been employed by this national radio station to contribute her voice to trailers, that are broadcast throughout the day, multiple times on all or most live shows. 

Searching on-line, I was not able to find a single positive comment on her voice, as it is employed by Radio 2.

There were, however, a fair amount of critical comments and I am re-posting most here, as I am in agreement with all of them, and would like to see some sort of explanation from BBC Radio 2 as to why this woman has been employed for so long to plaster her voice all over the station like ugly, crass graffiti on a quite attractive building..............

BBC Discussion

Annoying Radio 2 trailers

Roger Saunders on Thursday, 31st December 2009

Is it just me, or are you sick to death of that woman's voice about 6 times an hour giving out information on upcoming shows?

It is always the same monotone voice as if she were talking to 2 year olds and is so condescending it is driving me batty!!!

By all means keep us updated on forthcoming shows, but for goodness sakes give us someone who can speak like a normal human being.

Do we have to listen to someone who insists in raising the inflection in her voice every two or three words!!! aaaaaaaaagh!!

Message 2. Posted by st3ph3n on Thursday, 31st December 2009

Maybe she should vary it by saying .... "and it is through the .... SQUARE / ROUND etc. window"

Message 3. Posted by DaveHD on Sunday, 3rd January 2010

I'm sure she's a lovely lady and we might like her more if we could see what she looks like, but right now her voice is the one thing on Radio 2 that sends me to the "off" switch. Not only does her voice irritate but it's the frequency of the promos -seems like after every other record.

Posted by Subojac on Wednesday, 6th January 2010

Today we have Suzi Quatro and Bob Harris needing to be introduced by this woman. Why?

Then we have her doing the countdowns for Ken Bruce and so it goes on.

Change channel and she is on nearly every half-hour on BBC7.

Change to TV and she is trailing for BBC1. Change to ITV and she is selling food.

It has been suggested that she is called Carmen Squire. She may well be a "lovely lady" but there are thousands of "lovely ladies" that could do these jobs and give us all some much needed variety. Ofcom should regulate this over-exposure.

Posted by Subojac on Wednesday, 6th January 2010

And then it's Chris Evans's "first record" and the new look with Simon Mayo. Pity there is no 'new voice' for Radio 2.

So I turn over to Radio 6 and there she is again, drawling away in that same monotone. Is she trying to get a World Record, the first person to be on all channels at all time? Do the BBC Trail(ers) Department hate us listeners that much?

Posted by Peta on Wednesday, 6th January 2010

Ofcom are not regulators of 'I'm a bit bit bored by hearing the same voice over people' - that's not really an Ofcom thing.

It's pretty likely that this voice over worker gets the work by being good at what she does, and being available for work, bit like all of us in these recession hit days!

Here's a link to more info about what ofcom do and are responsible for...

Posted by Subojac on Wednesday, 6th January 2010

I think I am aware of what Ofcom does (not a lot really). You mistake wishful thinking (and humour?) for ignorance methinks!

Also I am not 'bored' of this voice, I am thoroughly sick and tired of hearing it 'everywhere'.

I like, for instance, Terry Wogan's voice but I wouldn't want, and I don't think most people would want, to hear him several times an hour on nearly all BBC and commercial channels. It doesn't matter how good something is, there is a limit to how often it should be served up and the BBC has surely exceeded this limit by a huge margin.


Black International

3 Jun 2011

Wondering what's more irritating: Jamie Cullum or the Radio 2 Voiceover woman's way of saying it. JEEAYEMEEE CYULLLEMMM

12-04-2012, 08:16


Forum Member

Radio 2 voiceover woman

I cannot stand her voice, and she seems to be the only voiceover person R2 uses at the moment, so she's difficult to avoid. It's that three-note up and down tone she does in each promo. Not sure I've explained it properly, but it bugs the hell out of me.

12-04-2012, 09:53

Who is she? She's all over Radio 2 like a rash. Titanic promos - she's there. Richard Madeley promo - she's there. Promo for Dave Pearce - she's doing that too!

She's irritated me so much I've switched to 6Music.

12-04-2012, 16:58

Andy Walmsley

Forum Member

She's Carmen Squire...

Now I know R2 uses her voice for all imaging presumably to provide a consistent sound but it would make a change to hear someone else, or even a few more sung jingles.

12-04-2012, 17:29


Forum Member

Thanks Andy. That's the one. I've listened to some of her other work and she's equally annoying there too. I'd much prefer to hear Fran Godfrey, Sally Boazman or Fenella Fudge. As I said, it's that three-note "up-up-up-down" intonation that irritates.

28-12-2012, 19:53


Forum Member

I find it an interesting challenge to work out why I find this style of voiceover so irritating. A linguist could probably work it out easily, in the same way as they worked out the fashionable tendency, possibly first imported to this country via Australian soaps, to replace "you know?" at the end of a descriptive sentence by simply raising the voice at the last syllable of the sentence.

Here goes my explanation:

Imagine you were saying to a relative in complicity that someone neither of you liked was coming for Christmas dinner. You might say sarcastically: "And who else is coming? Your favourite sister" For emphasis you might use the up up up down inflection on the phrase "Fa vou rite Sister" in just the same way Carmen says "Ra di yo Two".

The up up up creates suspense, and the down resolves it.

Many voiceovers started this habit in the last 12 or so years. I think its origins could go back even several decades. There can be just two ups and a down, as in "Rad yo Two", or just one, even in just one word, for example the well heard mockney man who says in the commercial, as if he's exhaling a drag of a cigarette, or practising a yoga chant technique, "Wiiiiiickes"

It's the fake complicity between announcer and audience that is the thing here, not the sarcasm. The inflection is as if they were actually saying "And what is the name of the station I am going to say at the end of this sentence? You know........good old.....(Wait for it) Ra di yoh Twooooo"

It is a function of how this type of announcer uses suggestibility to relate to their audience. Almost subliminally, they are suggesting to the listener that the listener knows what the announcer is going to say, that their product is something reassuring, that they are on the same wavelength as the audience, (complicity). With Carmen Squires, and maybe others, this style has become formalised and exaggerated more recently and the syllables more robotically separated, the tones more stable and rigid.

There could possibly be another less scientific element which I have already hinted at, the raise and fall of the tone could simply work by implying the soothing tones one would use when hushing a child to sleep.

That's really the best I can do as an amateur. I would be interested to see a more precise or maybe a professional explanation.

Some people may not be irritated by this style, but I find it very patronising. I do agree that it's time for a change of voiceovers at Radio 2, but I dread to think what we might get in replacement.



22 Aug 2012

..I've found ELC. AKA Carmen Squire. Feel free to print this and throw darts at it ;) xxx

13 Nov 2012

Still struggling to find a replacement morning radio station. I do like Radio 2...but that insipid Carmen Squire VO woman does my swede in.


22 Jul 2013

Are Radio 2 trailers, just, the noisiest, damn-awful ...ever? #vine@bbc R2

18 Dec 2013

...She's almost as bad as Carmen Squire. Almost.


May 29, 2014 at 8:58 pm

At least they have names you can put to their voices.

For some reason Carmen Squire has the ‘voice of choice’ across the whole of British media.

She’s the one that interrupts Radio 2 every 20 minutes to tell us in the same tones who the instantly recognisable voice in the trailer was.

Love them or loath them we can choose to listen or avoid the other regular presenters but not this one.


People you'd never get tired of punching in the face...


Monday 8th September 2014

I will just leave this here and let you have a think about why I nominate her.

[photo of Carmen Squire]


July 13, 2015 at 10:13 am

Please can they also save a few ‘k’ by getting rid of the dire ‘anonymous’, adds-nothing , Carmen Squire, the most-heard voice on British media.

(She’s the one that is given carte blanche to interrupt Radio 2 every 20 minutes with inane interjections like “Terry Wogan!”, “Jules Holland!”, “Paul McCartney!”, as if none of us would recognise any of them without her sexy (pass the bucket) help!)



12 Oct 2015

Bob Smith

Dear @BBCRadio2
Please stop using Carmen Squire's voice for your trails
Her v silly over modulated voice drives me (+others) nuts

16 Aug 2016

Jane Reynolds

@BBCRadio2 Finally found out that the woman who read EVERY SINGLE trail in the EXACT-SAME tone is Carmen Squire. Please, please replace her.

@BBCRadio2 You could get a machine to do a better/cheaper job than Carmen Squire. Every trail's identical; like a deaf, over-dramatic robot.


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