Tilling is a graduate of Queen Mary University of London. He began his broadcasting career in local radio. He worked at Chiltern Radio in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and Oasis Radio in Hertfordshire (later Mercury 96.6) in 1995. He then moved into television working as a continuity announcer for Westcountry Television (the ITV region in the South West of England) in 1996. In 1997, he joined Granada Television as a continuity and promo voiceover. A year later, he moved to Leeds and worked as a continuity and trailer voiceover for Yorkshire Television, Granada, Tyne Tees and Border Television, as well as being a highly regular on-air voice of London Weekend Television in London at the weekends from 1998 to 2002 and then for national ITV after the amalgamation of the ITV regions to London.
Whilst at Granada Television, he was asked to be the temporary announcer of University Challenge for the 1997 series, and then returned permanently in 2001 and has remained the voice of the programme to date. His voice is heard at the start of every show introducing the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, and whenever a contestant buzzes in for a starter question announcing their college and surname. The voiceovers are performed live in the studio and become noticeably more energetic towards the end of the programme, with split-second precision every time as the pace of the show increases.
Apart from popping up on radio and TV commercials with the likes of John Motson for Ford and Alan Whicker for Travelocity, he emerged on Granada Sky Broadcasting in 1999, before becoming the voice of The Hallmark Channel (now Universal Channel) since 2001 in 40 countries worldwide and Movies 24 since 2006.
Tilling has also been the voice of other game shows on various channels, including the 70-episode series of Family Fortunes aired from 2 September to 6 December 2002. BBC's Panorama producers have regularly brought him in for vocal contributions for their current affairs programmes since 2003.
In 2005, Channel 5 chose Tilling to voice the Man Eaters series of wildlife documentaries, and Naked Science series of science documentaries. He is currently the voice of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, Formula One and Deep Heat television commercials in the UK. His voice can also be heard narrating documentaries for National Geographic Channel which are broadcast worldwide across the global network, as well as History Channel. In 2009, Tilling re-voiced the acclaimed Man Eaters wildlife series for ITV Global for worldwide distribution.
In April 2010, Tilling was chosen as the voice of Shreddies television commercials starring Leslie Phillips, promoting the advertising campaign for "More Knitting Nanas Needed". Sky chose Tilling for their Soccer AM sponsorship campaign with Head & Shoulders.
Tilling is also currently the voice of Aviva Rugby Premiership promos for ESPN and Travel Channel promos in the UK. On 5 December 2011, he was the voice of "our Graham" on Never Mind the Buzzcocks hosted by Cilla Black.
Denso have used Roger as the English voice of their in-car Satellite Navigation systems for factory-fitted models in Land Rover, Range Rover, Jaguar and Toyota cars since 2005.
As an established game show voice, Tilling was chosen by Subway for their new television commercial campaign across the UK in July 2012. He has been the voice of Dreams television commercials since September 2013.
In November 2012, Tilling was asked to be the announcer at the 100th Royal Variety Performance, introducing Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the Royal Albert Hall.
He has over 18 years of live radio and TV experience. In 2010, British Airways selected Tilling as the voice of their worldwide inflight entertainment.
Appropriately, he holds a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and is a qualified private pilot. Tilling lives in London and remains busy as a voiceover in television, documentaries, computer games, commercials, radio and the corporate business.
- University Challenge Series 42, Episode 5: Jeremy Paxman:-"QMUL's alumni include.....and the rarely seen man of mystery, the voice of UC: Roger Tilling..."
|University Challenge announcer