Born on The Wirral, Siân is an ex-international sprint hurdler. She gained a BA (hons) in acting from LIPA. Siân’s acting TV credits include: Cutting It (2004); Casanova (2004); Hotel Babylon (2006); Secret Diary of a Call Girl (2006); New Tricks (2007); prison officer in Coronation Street (2011); Holby City (2012); Moving On (2013 and 2016); Doctors (2014); Critical (2015). She narrated Kerry Katona: The Next Chapter (2010 – 2011) and since 2017, has been a freelance BBC TV announcer on BBC One and BBC Two. Most recently Siân has worked in theatre, appearing at the National Theatre; in 2018, she appeared alongside Jennifer Saunders in Lady Windermere’s Fan in London’s West End. Siân is the owner of St David Coffee House in London SE23.
Paul R. Jackson spoke with Siân in June 2018.
Have I Heard You Namecheck Yourself on BBC One?
“Yes, I did say my name around Christmas time (it was New Year’s Eve just before my intro into the show ahead of the midnight countdown). This is something I think the BBC are starting to encourage more, as yes, they want the audience to relate to us a little more.”
Tell Us a Little About Your Athletics Career
“I competed in 100 metre sprint hurdles from around 13 – 20-years-old. Running for GB and gaining a Welsh vest. Did English schools/AAA/North of England championships (all sorts, too many races to list). I loved it but I just came to the end of my ability and really wanted to act. But I look back at that chapter fondly.”
How Did You Become an Announcer?
“I can’t remember the date of my first broadcast but I went for an audition for the Home channel around 2015 and though I didn’t get offered the job, I got offered (by a very nice lady) the chance to be mentored by her. She was a producer for Red Bee and taught me how to write and use the microphone. She then offered me to cover the maternity leave for the Home/Gold and Really channel, which was great experience. It was then around three years before I returned as a live announcer for BBC One and Two (I started on 3rd April 2017) and this was simply a phone call to my agent and an audition process and here I am!”
Any Career Highlights/Major News Events That You’ve Announced/Anecdotes from Working in Presentation?
“The Grenfell disaster (14th June 2017) was my first solo shift after training, so this was a big eye opener but one I’ll never forget. New Year’s Eve was a big thrill! I’ve had some moments here where I have felt very emotional coming out of a programme or going into something: I voiced the marathon and was choked up doing my intro.”
How Did You Come to Own a Coffee House and Do You Get to Work There Much In-Between Voice and Acting Jobs?
“Yes it’s very hard to juggle all this. The beginning of 2018 was very tough, as I was in Lady Windermere’s Fan (rehearsing and the show run – six nights-a-week and two daytime shows – so eight shows-a-week in total) managing my shop and still doing shifts where I could at the BBC, as well as doing the audio book for Denise Bulger! So I was very stressed! Four jobs was too many! I bought the shop when things were quieter with acting in 2012. I love it and my dad was a pastry chef, so it reminds me of him and my childhood. We serve coffee, brunch, cakes and we make everything in-house right down to our cordials and sauces.”
Video Clips on the Internet
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PICTURED: Siân Polhill-Thomas. SUPPLIED BY: Siân Polhill-Thomas. COPYRIGHT: Kirill Kozlov.