Born Gordon Allan in Manchester, David is a broadcaster with over 50 years’ experience and, for people of a certain generation, is a very recognisable voice. Certainly one of the great broadcast voices of all time. His first job was as assistant stage manager at Manchester Library Theatre and for the next nine years he worked at various theatres around the country, culminating with a stint in the West End, employed on the hit musical ‘Funny Girl’. His broadcasting career started at Pirate Radio 390 in June 1966 where he presented a country music programme called Country Style until 1968. There was another Gordon on the fort, so they made him change his name to David. Thanks to Jon Myer, Pirate Radio Hall of Fame, for the information regarding David’s radio career.
David moved into TV in 1969 and for 25 years (freelance 1969 – 1972 and staff 1972 – 1994) his distinctive voice was heard announcing programmes on BBC One and BBC Two. The role involved research, scripting and voicing live continuity links for BBC One and BBC Two, including the early morning and late-night junctions for The Open University. He also presented promotional interviews for BBC Two, with a wide range of subjects, including Percy Thrower and Morecambe and Wise! He also presented BBC TV’s annual Wembley Country Music Festival (1975 – 1990), provided voiceovers on Points of View (BBC One, 1987) and was also a BBC World Service TV announcer (1992).
David was later heard on ITV as a relief announcer for Carlton TV in London (1995, 1996 – December 2000, May 2001 and February 2002) and from October 2002, was a member of the national ITV announcing team for a couple of years, working as a freelancer covering overnight shifts. He was one of the main announcers on the satellite History Channel in the UK, along with Charles Nove and David Miles and in 2013, David voiced the BBC Two night dedicated to The 1970s.
David was also to be heard on BBC Radio 2, where he was a presenter (1968 – 1999) on shows including Country Club with Wally Whyton; he stood in for various regular presenters. He later presented on Melody FM (1996 – 1999), London’s Ritz 1035 Radio (1999 – 2002) and SAGA Primetime Radio (2002 – 2008).
Paul R. Jackson corresponded with David in December 2017: “I knew Clem Shaw very well as we were on Pirate Radio 390 together. We lost touch when he left the Centre – he had a really terrific voice and style. It might be of interest to add that I am still finding occasional voice work on internet sites like Fiverr and Voices and I also write a monthly column for the journal Country Music People.”
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring David which we found on social media sites or have made available from our own archive. The clips are presented here for additional reference. Inclusion of a video does not constitute an endorsement of the hosting site/channel/user. If you find any broken links below or are aware of an additional clip(s) which you believe may be a useful addition to this profile, please get in touch with us via our Contact page.
David Allan closes down BBC One, in July 1993.
PICTURED: David Allan. SUPPLIED BY: David Allan. COPYRIGHT: David Allan.