Even as a child at infant school in the 70’s I was complimented on my clear and confident speaking voice. Throughout my school days I was regularly asked to be the narrator for assemblies and stage productions.

When asked for volunteers to read out loud in class it was my hand that shot up as although I wasn’t great at science and maths, I knew I had a talent for speech.

a young deryn oliver with a horse

Skip forward to my twenties, I was running my own successful beauty therapy business. I was still using my creative talents on stage in local theatre and, as much as I loved my job as a beauty therapist, I still had a little voice inside telling me that a more creative path was out there for me. I had looked into the voice over industry but would need to live near to a city with recording studios. Home voice over studios were not possible back then so the waxing continued.

And then in 2017 Bradley Walsh and his quiz show Cash Trapped came into my life.

To be honest, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire has always been the quiz show I long to go on but alas Chris didn’t seem to want me and then it went off air, so when Bradley beckoned (or at least the production company did) I accepted the offer and travelled down to Elstree to meet the rest of the hopeful contestants.

Unlike WWTBAM, Cashtrapped wasn’t a straight forward quiz and in fact I know a number of viewers found the rules difficult to follow but, being me, I did my research first by watching the first series on You Tube and carefully learned the rules and the strategy.

The way the show worked was that there were six contestants at a time ( all in boxes, a bit like Blankety Blank looked back in the day) and we had to buzz in to answer questions. If you answered correctly you could Cash Trap another contestant and they were then out of that round. Each question you answered correctly you accrued money in your own pot and in the final round the person with the most money had to try to cashtrap the other five players within 60 seconds in a quick fire round. If they failed to do so, they lost all their money and they all came back in the next episode. If they succeeded they kept their money and all went home, five with nothing.

As there was no limit on the number of times a group could keep returning there was no definite recording date for my show and so I was down in London for four days before I was needed for filming In that time I hung out with my fellow contestants and the production team in the hotel, did tourist stuff in the capital and saw my brother so it was like a mini break really, and all paid for by the production company. My voice was commented on by a number of people as it often is and I thought again of my earlier desire to be a voice over actor.

At last we were told that we needed to be ready for filming and we spent a very long day in the Green Room at Elstree watching the group before us being filmed and hoping one of them would manage to win the money so we could have our turn. The production team were really nice and friendly and a couple of them started commenting on my voice once more and how I would make a great voice over artist. They told me that voice over work could now be done from a home studio and that’s when that light bulb moment hit me. Until then I had simply been enjoying the experience but now an idea started to form and a goal was in my sights. If I could win the show, I could invest the money into a new career.

At last it was our turn. Into my box I went, determined to stick to my game strategy, which was to stay quiet for the first few rounds. Why? Because if you showed your hand too soon the others would cash trap you and freeze you out. Bradley Walsh was great at putting us all at our ease with his banter and friendly chat and once more my voice was commented on. I think he said ‘Oooh, you sound posh, what a lovely voice’ The lightbulb glowed brighter!

As it was, my strategy looked as if it was going to fail as another contestant made it through to the final round but she fortunately failed to escape with her money. And so another game commenced with the others thinking I wasn’t much of a threat. Once again I stayed quiet at first. But then the heat of the lightbulb kicked in and I was on fire!

I knocked out the other five with over twenty seconds to spare and took home £12,000.
Can’t describe the feeling. If I could have bottled it I would have made 12 million by now!

And after I finished celebrating I started my new research – into the voice over industry.

So thank you Mr Walsh and all those lovely people at Possessed and to my fellow contestants for unknowingly helping to launch my voice over career.

Do view: How Bradley Walsh Launched My Career in Voice Over

If you think my voice may be able to help you please contact me at www.derynvoiceover.com info@derynvoiceover.com