Mike Hurley

Mike Hurley

Three years ago, one of the UK’s top voice artists died suddenly. It wasn’t just a sad loss for his family and the Voice Over world, but Mike was also an amazingly talented writer and evangelist for good radio advertising. Somewhere in the vaults of Capital Radio Nottingham/ Trent FM is a splendid video of a presentation Mike did for clients of the station. His eyes sparkle with passion as he talks about how to make radio advertising WORK.

In the voice over booth we got some of the best out takes. His sharp wit taking over when his voice tripped on some over-written agency sows ear. Or an explosion when he got a take wrong. Some Voices will give you a glance when they finish a read and you KNOW that they think they’ve not done it as well as they could.. but they hope it’s good enough for the producer. Mike wouldn’t do that. He’d immediately volunteer to give a better take. He wanted to give his best…. Even for the voice fee of a £14.90 local radio script.

I remember spending time with Mike at Radio Aire in Leeds. He used to visit Yorkshire TV next door and then pop in to a) see if there was anything we needed voicing b) wait to pick his son Mikey up from school and c) just pass the time chatting animatedly about radio, what was good, what was bad and what needed putting right. I considered Mike as a good friend.

There’s some more about Mike here…

http://www.voiceovertimes.com/2008/02/27/britains-most-famous-voice-over-mike-hurley-gone-at-59/
And a video of a TV documentary about his work…. “Voiceover Man – Voice Over Artiste Documentary, Confessions of a Vocal Prostitute”

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8860491330189235314#

See if you can spot the duvet in the studio! When Mike was doing sessions down the ISDN Line he would put the duvet over his head to create the sound proofing.

I can’t believe it’s nearly 3 and a half years since he passed away. I can still hear his voice.

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3 thoughts on “Mike Hurley

  1. Mike was a great guy, I worked with him almost everyday during my Radio Aire Comprod days.

  2. James Cridland … Managing director at Media UK… has this to say on the Radio Chatter Discussion on MediaUK..

    “I remember Mike Hurley well. So concerned was he to do a good take, he’d occasionally get very angry with himself, and fling whatever he had in his pockets around the voicebooth – car keys, coins, the lot. Rumour had it that a coin got stuck in the voicebooth wall at Metro FM (though Ian Britton could probably confirm that).

    When he moved over to ISDN, as many voiceovers did around 1996, Karl Svenson was one of the first people to call him: on a hot Yorkshire summer’s day. We were hoping that his setup was, unlike other voiceovers who’d made the jump, a great-sounding studio – but we heard – to our dismay – a large, echoey room. We chatted for a few minutes as if nothing was wrong, while we tried to work out how we could tell him that we couldn’t use his home studio if it sounded as echoey as this. Then, there was a pause. “Hold on”, said Mike, “I’ll just pull the duvet on.” Duvet in place, his voice sounded as crisp and clear as it ever did. Genius man.

    He was also one of the only voiceovers I know who, upon being told that take was a third of a second over, would instantly redo it to be exactly one-third of a second less.

    I wonder if someone like Simon Hirst or Mark Gregory has a copy of his voice showreel?”

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