Duncan has a commercial radio background, having worked for Lincs FM (Lincolnshire), Invicta FM (Kent) and Trax FM (Yorkshire), where he presented the breakfast show. He joined the BBC network announcing team in April 2004, providing continuity announcements on BBC One, BBC Two and later UKTV. On 25th December 2009, BBC Breakfast showed a behind-the-scenes report concerning continuity at Christmas and interviewed both Duncan and Peter Offer.
On 18th May 2018, Duncan tweeted that ahead of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, his wife Katie had joined him on BBC Two. Katie explained that they had been married for 10 years and that marriage is all about sharing moments. They then introduced Gardener’s World together.
In September 2018, in a thread on his Twitter feed, Duncan referenced a YouTube clip featuring a recording of a mid-1980s Saturday Superstore segment, in which Phillip Schofield went behind-the-scenes in NC1 at BBC Television Centre. After a Twitter user commented that the present day equivalent is no longer based at Television Centre, Duncan recalled the period where playout was transitioning from Television Centre to the Broadcast Centre: “We moved out early in 2005. I did the first shift from the new playout suite and ended up having to run down Wood Lane at 9.50pm to introduce the 10 o’clock news from the trusty old booth at TVC. We moved again earlier this year.”
Paul R. Jackson caught up with Duncan in September 2017.
How Did You Get Interested in TV?
“I grew up in a house with the TV always on in the background so the BBC announcers of the 80s/early 90s became very familiar, warm and reassuring voices. I loved watching Swap Shop – Noel became a hero – and I used to pretend being the announcer reading out the old Saturday night menus ‘Saturday night on BBC One starts with Anneka Rice…’. Listening to DJs like Adrian Juste, I fell in love with radio and joined my local hospital radio station. When the commercial station, Lincs FM launched, I kept sending them demo tapes (yes, actual cassette tapes) until they finally backed down and I did my first show in 1994. I had a complete blast in Lincoln, having pretty much creative freedom until finally leaving in 2002 (remember when radio was fun?) to join Invicta FM in Kent and then moving on to do the breakfast show on Trax FM in Yorkshire for a year. The early starts sounded like a good idea but they killed me…and then, the BBC advertised for a new continuity announcer.
“The audition at TV Centre was the stuff of nightmares: ‘It’s the World Cup final, England v Germany but…hold on, there’s a problem. You start talking and we’ll tell you when to stop/go!’ I did my first announcing shift on Easter Monday 2004 (12th April) and became the voice of doom, introducing the final episode of Top of the Pops on BBC One, the last Top Gear (Clarkson/May/Hammond years) on BBC Two and was the final voice heard on both networks when the analogue transmitter was switched off in London and the south.”
What Are Your Career Highlights to Date?
“Highlights include introducing the Wallace and Gromit Christmas Day special to an average audience of 14.4 million and introducing some of the best episodes of Doctor Who (Blink and Doomsday) and I was recently upgraded by a Cyberman!”
“Being full of cold or coming in at 5.15am in the morning to find that you’re actually doing the late shift and don’t need to be at work for another nine hours. There is a little more to our job than most people think; it’s not just about talking for 12 seconds and then putting your feet up. Years ago the announcers had hours in the office to preview programmes and start writing script ideas. Nowadays we work like a conveyer belt, previewing and writing lines against the clock, live in the con – so we don’t have a lot of spare time. We preview programmes and write all of our own scripts against the clock and then voice the scripts live. Next time you hear an announcer and think you could do better, try reading out the winning lottery numbers while somebody counts down backwards in your ear. It’s not brain surgery but it does take certain skills. Loving TV helps.”
Have You Had Many Christmas Shifts?
“I’m doing the late BBC One shift on Christmas Eve 2017 but have the 25th off. My first was the 24th, 25th and 26th late ‘One’ shifts in 2004, I’ve gone on to do the early ‘One’, late ‘Two’ in following years.”
Social Media Presence
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Duncan 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.
BBC Breakfast report about BBC network announcers at Christmas. Includes interviews with BBC announcers Duncan Newmarch and Peter Offer.
Duncan Newmarch introduces What Women Want.
PICTURED: Duncan Newmarch (2018). SUPPLIED BY: Duncan Newmarch. COPYRIGHT: Duncan Newmarch.