Wednesday, May 30, 2007

People whose voices I like...

Blankpaige wrote an interesting piece about some radio presenters whose voices she liked and disliked.

I've tried to think of 10 male and 10 female voices that I've liked listening to over the years. Note that I'm purely judging the sound of the voice, I'm not necessarily a fan of the person. They are also not in any particular order of favourites, nor have I put long thought into this (I'll probably think of others afterwards or regret some of the ones I've chosen!).


1. Vincent Price - I loved his unique clear, haunting, slightly aristocratic mellow tones.

2. Anthony Hopkins - great clear distinct poetic voice. "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti...fffhhh fffhhh fffhh".

3. Richard Burton - similar reasons as for Hopkins. They are both Welsh of course.

4. Gay Byrne - great intonation and expression, impossible to lose interest in what he is saying.

5. Ian Paisley - a passionate and decisive voice. I love mimicking him (I'm told I do it well!).

6. John F. Kennedy - nice positive delivery, smooth and easy to listen to Boston accent.

7. Ronald Reagan - could inspire and move in his speeches with his soft yet passionate voice

8. John Cleese - great stiff upper lip voice with so many interesting characteristics.

9. Pat Kenny - probably has the clearest diction and best delivery of all Irish broadcasters

10. Terry Wogan - distinctive, laid-back and easy to listen to.


1. Hilary Clinton - clear and positive.

2. Mary Robinson - throaty and deep, but pleasant and distinctive.

3. Meryl Streep - soft and wide ranging in expression.

4. Julia Roberts - good clear and pleasant American accent.

5. Audrey Hepburn - sophisticated, friendly, fragile, nice mixture of English/Continental tones.

6. Barbara Stanwick - a bassy voice with good delivery.

8. Jodie Foster - slightly nasal, distinctive and easy to listen to.

9. Grace Kelly - soft and regal.

10. Jennifer Lopez - quite smooth and warm NY accent.

If I was to pick a voice I've personally loved more than any would be that of my spouse. She has a nice soft blend of her parents Derry/Donegal accents peppered with south east Dublin tones. But I'm biased!


aquaasho said...

Nice list John!

I love Mike Murphy's voice/ accent/ tone, so smooth and chocolatey. Doesn't matter what he's saying. Heard him recently in an interview. Very humble, I was surprised.

And women: Jenny Huston. She's an American or Canadian DJ on 2FM (sorry I can't tell the difference in accents there).

John of Dublin said...

Hi aquaasho. I like Mike Murphy's voice too. I don't know Jenny Huston, I must try find her on FM2 sometime.

It's a list you could add and add to!

Dario Sanchez said...

What about the negatives then?

John of Dublin said...

Fair question Dario. I don't normally like being cruel about people's personal attributes. But voices that grate on me would include Jackie Healy-Rae, Brian Cowan, Daniel O'Donnell. On the female side Orla Barry and Marian Finucane. One issue you I have with Marian is that she doesn't breathe properly if she is spitting out sentences passionately and often gets out of breath by end of sentence. It can be painful to listen to and it would seem so easy to correct.

Dario Sanchez said...

I hate Ruth Scott's - 2fm DJ - accent. It's a mongrel Roscommon/Dublin 4 hybrid, and it makes me want to go over to RTE and ask them to sever her vocal chords ...

Omaniblog said...

What a good challenge. It'll take me a while to remember 10 voices:

I like:
George Hook (on radio, not on TV)
Orla Barry
Melvyn Bragg
Ian Paisley
Dave Fanning
John Peel

Why am I struggling to name another woman whose voice I like? I must be tired. I refuse to believe there aren't plenty I love.

Omaniblog said...

Relief arrives...

I love:

Ester Perel (who spoke on "The erotic and the domestic" at Listowel Writers' Week with a american, slightly french accent)

John of Dublin said...

Thanks Dario and Omani for the thoughts.

I'm not mad on George Hook's voice. I've heard Ruth Scott only a few times but I can't remember it pleasing or displeasing me!