Purley actor up for award thanks to Doctor Who performance

An actor from Purley has been nominated in the prestigious OneVoice Awards as the best female voice in Radio Dramatic Performance for her part playing alongside Colin Baker in the Doctor Who audio drama, The Hunting Ground.

Margaret Ashley is up for the gong for her performance as DCI Ingrid Jonsdottir at the awards night at the Hilton Docklands in May, where last year she was on the nominations list three times.

“I am very much looking forward to putting on an evening dress and having a glamorous night out in London, such a change from being confined to my audio booth talking to myself,” Ashley told Inside Croydon.

In a long and varied career, Ashley has performed or provided voiceovers, in roles including Margaret Thatcher, Mrs Nobby Normal and Bridget Hitler (it’s a long story…).

Voice talent: Purley’s Margaret Ashley at work in her studio

Originally from Newcastle, Ashley went to drama school in Manchester where her fellow students included David Threlfall, Amanda Burton, Al Hunter Ashton (London’s Burning and Holby City) and Roy Mitchell (the writer of New Tricks).

“Part of the course involved training in the audio department and I was taught how to use a microphone, hold a script properly, so it didn’t make a noise as you turned the pages and various other radio techniques, which all came in very handy when I landed my first radio job,” she said.

Ashley has acted in theatre and television, including London’s Burning, The Bill, Coronation Street, The Ward, and she also set up an actors agency.

Married and after bringing up her family in Purley, Ashley became much in demand for her voiceover work, which included appearing in the Netherlands’ first National Lottery ad, which had her flying out to Amsterdam, staying in a suite in their best hotel and then being filmed steering a £250,000 Sundowner Yacht down the canals.

There would be more space in a Tardis… Colin Baker (left) alongside Ashley and the crew from the audiobook The Hunting Ground outside the studio. Left to right: Baker; Harriet Collings; Ashley; Malcolm James; Richard Reed; AK Benedict; Amy Beth Hayes

More recently, Ashley has set up her own studio: “I now record audio for clients worldwide, be it corporate videos, e-learning modules, video games, audio guides or even telephone answer messages.”

Ashley often does recording work at Ladbroke Audio, a leading studio based in South Croydon, which is regularly visited by a host of some of Britain’s best-known acting and voice talents.

Ahead of Ashley’s awards night, she’s keen to work collaboratively with other local businesses. “I would love to be the voice of Croydon,” she said, “and I would be happy to help any local businesses that need a voice for anything to help promote their business.”

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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