HERE I AM MASKED UP IN A SHED in Sevenoaks doing a badly needed voice-over. Not my usual occupation I hasten to add as we normally hire pro voice-over actors.

But since becoming a Covid-19, travel-reduced, worn-out, video producer, fearing access to the Company’s sound studio where I could be molested by a dingy Covid breathing lizard flying across the mixing console; I have resorted to hiding my face in an even more dingy shed at the bottom of a garden in the heart of Kent. Yes, it’s zero degrees outside on this January 2021 morn and thank God there is a heater – and the fact I managed to grab our trusty Sennheisser MKH-416 voice-over mic and accessories from under the lizard’s nose while it was having it’s nosh. ‘Oh no! Is that a train racing down the mainline to London I can hear coming through the mic?’ ‘Not to worry bro’ shouts my partner who knows more about audio noise-reduction than his pet lizard knows about stocking up on viruses!

So I get down to business and start going over my script. After rehearsing for ten minutes I think I’m ready to do the first take and begin to take off my mask. ‘No no no’ shouts my partner in a panic. ‘Don’t take it off, for Gods’ sake.’ ‘What?’ I exclaim. ‘I’m not carrying the dreaded Covid. I’m as clean as a spring chicken.’ ‘No, it’s not the virus … it’s the sound!!! Your voice sounds bloody fantastic with that mask on. It’s the best pop-shield I’ve ever heard.’ ‘You mean I’ve got to sit here for a couple of hours talking through this Covid contraption?’ I said. ‘Pretend you’re a bandit in a Western, holed up in a shed with the bounty hunters outside’ he replied. ‘Hang on a mo! I’ll take a photo you can look at while you’re acting the part. It’s called method acting. Will put you in the right frame of mind. Then we can show the world that you don’t need a recording studio. You just need to be masked up in a dingy shed in Sevenoaks and you can get a vintage sound just like the BBC.’ He was positively dancing up and down with excitement. In fact I would swear he was more animated than his lizard when it was having one of it’s good days. ‘BBC? That would be Best Before Covid.’ I muttered.

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