By passing the 11-Plus, Greg gained entry to his local grammar school in north London, but education seemed to gain little purchase on his mind, which was focussed on tuning around the short wave, discovering the existence of offshore radio and determination to escape as soon as possible.
As a DJ on offshore radio, Greg could be heard on Radio Essex from February 1966, then Radio 270, Radio 390 and briefly (in early 1968) on Radio Caroline North – starting four days before the ship was towed away on behalf of creditors.
In early 1975, Greg did a lot of freelance shifts reading the news for IRN News. He has been a DJ and presenter at several local radio stations, including Breeze AM (as was), Beacon Radio, Two Counties Radio, LBC and, from October 1975, Radio Orwell – he was part of the original launch team there and stayed for four-and-a-half years. He then felt it was time to move on – he played a record called Take this Job and Shove It. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was asked to leave.
As well as playing at gramophones, a presenter in those days needed to know all about meaningful speech, at which Greg, in hindsight, reckons he was particularly adept. At the time, he was perceived as ‘esoteric’ and even ‘abstract’, but he expresses in 2008 – when ‘technically’ still a freelance voiceover, presenter and writer – a firm belief that radio was made for qualities such as his.
As Roger Scott (no relation to another broadcaster of the same name, who came to prominence in the UK in the early 1970s at Capital Radio and BBC Radio 1), Greg appeared in-vision as an announcer at Harlech (March 1968 – c. January 1969. His style of presentation – developed previously on offshore radio – was deemed too risky and he received marching orders to the out-of-vision-only department. He remained there until his departure a couple of months later.
Freelance continuity (including at Granada) and voiceover work was Greg’s professional occupation until reaching the announcer’s desk at Anglia (October 1969), where local news bulletins and presentation of the Birthday Club were delivered to the regional audience, some of whom objected to the long-haired ‘object’ on their screen!
Greg prides himself in being probably the only TV announcer to have been bought a short hair wig by his employer, as well as wishing his viewers “peace” at closedown. Surprisingly, he lasted a full year in Norwich, until October 1970, when the call came from the north east. His entertainment value was diluted again at Tyne Tees, due to all continuity being out-of-vision. But this was rectified eventually, as an early evening glory spot was introduced, featuring the announcer on camera revealing highlights of viewing ahead.
In Newcastle, in line with the policy of having the promos scripted and arranged by the announcers themselves, Greg quickly learned and perfected the art of sculpting imaginative and highly creative blurb, which often had little to do with programme content. His association with the ITV company lasted until the lure of another spell of offshore radio became irresistible in early 1972. He joined Radio Northsea International and remained there until October 1973. He broadcast in the midnight – 3am slot, when the station moved from Dutch to English. He operated under a new name – Arnold Layne – which he chose from a Pink Floyd song. After a stint with UBN, Greg moved back to dry land and began to use his real name professionally for the first time.
During his television days, Greg freelanced as an announcer at ATV and Southern, as well as revisiting Granada. Promotional trail voiceover work proved more sustainable and more successful. Greg voiced trails for BBC TV – they were always done live. As the voice of Anglia for a few years in the 1980s, he travelled weekly (sometimes more) to Norwich. There was a weekly appointment in the voiceover booth at HTV for three years in the late-1980s and throughout the 80s and 90s, few weeks elapsed when Greg did not put his voice to LWT promos.
Greg is now a writer and is based in Kent.
Paul R. Jackson met up with Greg in Canterbury in January 2018.
How did you get involved in TV announcing?
“I had a friend Alan Clark who put the idea into my head and I went for an audition at Cardiff for HTV. They had seven announcers including Liz Carse and Endaf Emlyn and TX1 transmitter broadcast to west of England and south Wales and TX2 to north and west Wales. We were in-vision and I used to ham it up a lot.”
Why did you change your name?
“The owner of Radio Essex, Roy Bates, wanted DJs to have good names so I changed to using Roger Scott until 1972.”
Video Clips on the Internet
Here we present a selection of video clips featuring Greg 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.
PICTURED: Greg Bance (Radio Caroline reunion, 2009). SUPPLIED BY: Mary Payne. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.