Music to my Ears: Newsreader Zeb Soanes

Familiar to BBC Radio 4 listeners as an announcer, newsreader and, perhaps above all, the voice of the Shipping Forecast, Zeb Soanes has been a classical music enthusiast from a young age. He tells us about the music that has inspired him over the years

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This week, we’re speaking to Zeb Soanes, a name familiar to countless BBC Radio 4 listeners as an announcer, newsreader and, perhaps above all, the voice of the daily Shipping Forecast.

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Born and brought up in East Anglia, in the heart of Benjamin Britten country, Soanes has been a classical music enthusiast since his childhood. Today, he regularly appears on stage in the concert hall either as a presenter or, often, as a narrator of much-loved works such as Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. He also includes a number of spoken roles on his CV, and next year will be working on a new project with composer Jonathan Dove and illustrator James Mayhew based on his own Gaspard the Fox series of books for children.

Zeb talked to BBC Music Magazine’s deputy editor Jeremy Pound over Zoom during lockdown, and told him how it was classical music that once helped him through a period when illness put his very livelihood under serious threat.

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Listen to Zeb’s musical choices here: