BBC radio needs new talent but 'no experience' necessary to follow Leeds's Sanchez Payne or Sheffield's Magid Magid

A broadcaster is searching for talented rookies to become the next generation of radio stars.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 6:00 pm
BBC radio talent.

The BBC has announced details for its "biggest ever" and all 39 local radio stations across England and the Channel Islands are hosting open auditions for its New Voices scheme on Saturday September 28 and Sunday September 29.

-> Channel 4 kicks off recruitment drive for move to Leeds - here are the jobs on offerBBC Radio York will be holding auditions at York St John University in York on the first day from 9.30am until 4pm.

Former Leeds United footballer Sanchez Payne, former Lord Mayor of Sheffield and now MEP Magid Magid, Letitia George, a finalist on The Voice, and Anna Lapwood. the 24-year-old director of music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, were just some of the new stars who scored their first break in broadcasting in the evening line-up.

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Sheffield's Magid Magid started out on local radio, said the BBC. Picture by Tony Johnson.

But what the broadcaster is looking for is "ordinary people with a love for their local area to take to the mic".

Anyone over the age of 18 can audition and no previous experience is required.

Hopefuls will have 60 seconds to impress a panel of judges.

"They could tell a story about something they care about, something local, something personal… anything as long as it’s unique," said the BBC.

Judges across the country will include BBC editors and producers plus special guests such as vocal coaches Carrie and David Grant.

In York, the judges will be BBC Look North presenter Amy Garcia, Sam Dilcock, presenter of God’s Own Countryfile on BBC Radio York and Layla Painter, acting editor of BBC Radio York.

The judges are looking for people who have the potential to contribute to existing shows, present their own one-off programme or even land a regular slot on a station.

BBC England’s head of audio and digital Chris Burns said: “BBC Local Radio has always been the place in the BBC where new talent can get a break.

"Very few of today’s famous broadcasters haven’t done a stint at their local station.

"We are determined to discover the next generation of new radio talent. Our local teams speak to hundreds of people every day and know there are plenty of fascinating talkers out there who deserve more air time. So we’re opening our doors and inviting people to have a go at getting a slot on one of our stations.”

In most cases, all people will have to do is turn up at their local venue prepared to impress. However some will require candidates to pre-register first.

The auditions will be first-come-first-served, so everyone is asked to make sure they check the times of the auditions and arrive promptly for the best chance to be seen.

The New Voices search is part of BBC Local Radio’s commitment to move into a new era. Last year the shared weekday evening show was replaced with fresh evening shows focused on bringing new talent to the BBC and covering subjects not usually heard on the broadcaster's local radio stations.

Some of the biggest names in broadcasting started in BBC Local Radio including Jeremy Vine and Woman’s Hour’s Jane Garvey.

For further information and full terms and conditions visit and those who need to pre-register should visit for the full details.