Voice-over voices

Unforgettable voices

Why should we read book with lots of letters?



 It has been 84 years since “Hello, Hello! This is Radio Zagreb” could be heard for the first time on a handful of transistor radios in Croatia. Only a few owned this device, as it was pretty expensive. Can you imagine this – there were only 290 subscribers in the whole territory of Croatia at the time radio broadcast started.


While we were still learning about this damn novelty, they were conducting experiments with picture in London. In 1925, the first moving image was broadcast – the image did not travel far, but it was a worthy beginning.
At the time radio celebrated its 30th anniversary in Croatia, there were already many television stations around the globe. Television Zagreb joined their company on 15 May 1956. Only a few lucky ones who owned pricy television sets could watch rebroadcast of Italian RAI Uno, and only a few months later the opening of the Zagreb Fair was broadcast live.

 Television was a great novelty in daily life. All over the country, people would gather in front of the shops that were selling television sets and watch the programme, and the owners of TV sets had guest every evening – a few families would come to watch TV and to find out what was happening in the world.
Television created stars, same as it does nowadays. The first true stars, who we still remember, were TV presenters, whose voices and faces marked decades of television programme.
Gordana Bonetti, Jasmina Nikić, Helga Vlahović, Željka Fattorini, Vesna Spinčić and Ksenija Urličić were working for both radio and television. They were presenters of news and other informational programmes, as well as of festivals, entertainment and education programmes.
They were all university graduates and they continually and devotedly worked on the improvement of their speech and expression. They were not required to be of exceptional beauty – they were required to have a pleasant and sophisticated voice, cultivated speech and the knowledge of Croatian and foreign languages. But the most important quality was to be convincing. TV viewers were supposed to believe them, and they succeeded in this requirement by being convincing, kind and elegant.
Jasmina Nikić, a linguist expert, established the Department of Language and Speech for the television station.
Željka Fattorini, a presenter of once a very popular Sunday afternoon show and the “Good Morning” show, would attract viewers with her friendliness and nonchalance.

  And who could ever forget Helga Vlahović, who has been a commentator of the New Year’s Concert of Vienna Philharmonic for decades? It’s not a surprise that television viewers have chosen her the TV personality of the last decade.
It’s not easy to be a presenter. You can’t make a mistake in pronouncing foreign names, you can’t place a town in a wrong country, you have to know who presidents or foreign ministers of other states are.  General knowledge has to be at your fingertips.
According to experienced television stars, if you wish to be a television presenter you have to know the etiquette.  Do not interrupt your interlocutors; be friendly and treat them with respect. Read newspapers, read books (especially the thick ones, with lots of letters), learn foreign languages, work on yourself. Perhaps a glittering career lies ahead of you.
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