24 June 1976
|Occupation||Journalist, Presenter, Newsreader|
|Notable credit(s)||BBC Radio 4
Soanes was born in Lowestoft in Suffolk, the son of a Methodist minister. He is named after the Biblical fisherman Zebedee, who was the father of two of Jesus' disciples. Soanes has two sisters, Hannah and Rebecca.
Soanes was educated at Northfield St Nicholas Infants School (now Poplars) and then Harris Middle School in Lowestoft and then at Denes High School, a state comprehensive school in the town, followed by the University of East Anglia, where he read Drama and Creative Writing. He then taught drama and toured Britain as an actor.
Life and career
Near the end of his degree course Soanes appeared on a local BBC radio station, promoting a charity improvised comedy show in which he was taking part. He was spotted by one of the presenters and a few days Soanes was called in to do some improvisation live on air.
Soanes was formerly a presentation announcer for the television channels BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four. His was the first voice to welcome new viewers to BBC Four when the channel was launched in 2002. He was the channel's sole announcer for the first ten months.
In 2001 he began reading the Shipping Forecast, a weather report for the seas around the British Isles, which is broadcast four times a day on BBC Radio 4. For the 2008 Beijing Olympics he was asked to read the shipping forecast to a worldwide audience of over a billion.
He returned to BBC Four in August 2006 as a presenter for the BBC Proms. Soanes has been a newsreader for Today, PM and the Six O’Clock News, He has also appeared on The News Quiz with Sandi Toksvig and in 2013 accompanied the programme on its first visit to the Edinburgh Festival.
He acted with Toby Jones in the radio drama Beautiful Dreamers and has reported for BBC Radio's long-running series From Our Own Correspondent. He has also presented BBC Radio 3’s Saturday Classics, the first edition of which consisted of three hours of favourite sea-inspired music.
The Soanes family’s presence in Lowestoft dates back to the 1700s. Interviewed in 2011, Soanes said, "I’m the only one of my immediate family who’s left the area, gone to university, and come to London."
Soanes has a love of classical music and used to play the piano.
- "For those in peril on the sea". East Anglian Daily Times. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 10 July 2014.
- Johnson, Richard (7 December 2010). "Heard But Not Seen: Seven Recognisable Voices". Radio Times. p. 20.
- "BBC Radio 4 - Six O'Clock News - Zebedee Soanes". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "#28 A Voice For Radio". Dining With Strangers. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2014-07-10.
- "Biography". Zebsoanes.com. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- "Celebrity Big Brother 2012: Julian Clary premieres his new show tonight and Strictly Come Dancing fans want him as presenter". Unreality TV. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2014-07-08.
- "Noye’s Fludde - Britten Centenary". Zebsoanes.com. 2013-11-24. Retrieved 2014-07-07.
- Dan Moe & Ruyman Rodriguez. "Awards for Young Musicians | Giving talent a chance | Zeb Soanes". A-y-m.org. Retrieved 2014-07-10.