Best New Voices 2021


The Publishers Association is proud to present the second list of Best New Voices in audiobook publishing for Love Audio Week. All of the narrators and audiobooks included in the list have been nominated by members of our Audio Publishers Group to showcase some of the talented actors working in audio narration.

#LoveAudio returns for a fifth year and will run from Monday 12 to Friday 16 July. The annual celebration will highlight the accessibility, creativity and innovation of audiobooks. Throughout the week audio publishers are joining together to share behind the scenes content and audiobook recommendations across social media.

Amber Gadd

Narrator of Careless, written by Kirsty Capes and published by Orion

Amber Gadd was the winner of a casting competition held by Orion, in conjunction with Open Door, to find the perfect reader for Kirsty Capes’ debut novel Careless.

Searing, poignant, insightful and achingly funny, Careless is an upmarket coming-of-age novel like no other, celebrating female friendship and the enduring hope to follow our dreams against all odds. Perfect for fans of Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Normal People by Sally Rooney and Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton.

Anand Jagatia

Narrator of The Spike, written by Mark Humphries and published by Princeton University Press

Anand Jagatia narrated The Spike. Anand produces Crowd Science on the World Service, and is a science reporter for Nature who has worked at the Royal Institution and the Microbiology Society. His degree at Cambridge was in neuroscience (he graduated in 2013). He is an experienced radio producer, though he has not yet narrated a longer form audio book.

This book follows the path of a single electrical impulse—a spike—through the brain, from the visual cortex through our neural circuitry to our motor neurons.

Alice Roberts

Narrator of Ancestors, written by Alice Roberts and published by Simon & Schuster UK

Professor Alice Roberts is an academic, author and broadcaster, specialising in human anatomy, physiology, evolution, archaeology and history. In 2001, Alice made her television debut on Channel 4’s Time Team, and went on to write and present The Incredible Human Journey, Origins of Us and Ice Age Giants on BBC2. She is also the presenter of the popular TV series Digging for Britain. Alice has been a Professor of Public Engagement with Science at the University of Birmingham since 2012.

Ancestors is an extraordinary exploration of the ancestry of Britain through seven burial sites. By using new advances in genetics and taking us through important archaeological discoveries, Professor Alice Roberts helps us better understand life today.

Bebe Cave

Narrator of Sunset, written by Jessie Cave and published by W. F. Howes

Bebe Cave is an actress and writer. Her credits include feature film Tale of Tales, ITV’s Victoria, and channel 4’s Hang ups. Her writing credits include comedy shows with her sister Jessie Cave (the author of Sunset). They performed at the Edinburgh fringe festival together with shows ‘Bookworm’ and ‘Cave sisters’ which they took to the Soho theatre.

Sunset is a novel about needing someone else as much they need you: an ode to our most powerful bonds, how they build us and break us and how, when all seems lost, we can find joy in the most unexpected places.

Danielle Vitalis

Narrator of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, written by Cherie Jones and published by Headline/Tinder Press

Danielle Vitalis is an actress and writer, known for Attack the Block (2011), Famalam (2018) and Youngers (2013). How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps the House is her first audiobook narration.

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House is the powerful, intense story of three marriages and of a beautiful island paradise where, beyond the white sand beaches and the wealthy tourists, lies poverty, menacing violence and the story of the sacrifices some women make to survive.

Kenton Thomas

Narrator of You Are A Champion, written by Marcus Rashford and published by Macmillan Children’s Books

Kenton Thomas is an actor and voiceover artist from Bradford. After graduating from RADA, Kenton has been busy performing lead roles in various productions at The National Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Tobacco Factory and The Orange Tree Theatre – including the World tour of ‘War Horse’. His TV credits include ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Blue Murder’ and ‘Shameless’.

An inspiring, positive and practical guide for kids from Marcus Rashford MBE, footballer and child food poverty campaigner.

Sheila Atim, Ellie Kendrick, Kemah Bob

Narrator of The Ballad of Halo Jones: Complete Edition, written by Alan Moore and published by Penguin Random House Audio

Sheila Atim is best known for Skin (2016), and Lexi and Micky (2017). She’s the winner of the 2018 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Marianne in ‘Girl From The North Country‘. Ellie Kendrick is an actress and writer, known for An Education (2009), Game of Thrones, and Misfits (2009). Kemah Bob (she/they) is a comedian, writer and producer from Houston, TX now based in London. Her work centers on Black cultural identity, mental health, sexuality, gender, healing and well-being using entertainment as a tool for enlightenment and empowerment.

A galaxy-spanning story and comics’ first bona fide feminist space opera, The Ballad of Halo Jones is the first true epic to grace the bibliography of arguably the greatest comic book writer the world has ever known. The audiobook features a full cast, sound effects and music.

Tanha Dil

Narrator of The Startup Wife, written by Tahmima Anam and published by Canongate

Tanha Dil is a screenwriter and actress based in Los Angeles. She’s a First-Gen Bangladeshi-American and began her career as a writer’s assistant for Norman Lear’s production company – which is also the greatest and most humbling experience of her life. Tanha recently graduated with her MFA in Screenwriting from UCLA. The series she helped develop and wrote for, East of LaBrea, won Best Web Original at UrbanWorld 2020. She was also chosen as a writer for Paul Feig’s PowderKeg Diversity Initiative – Break The Room – in 2018.

Selected as a Best Book of 2021 by the Observer, Stylist, Cosmopolitan, Red and the Daily Mail, The Startup Wife is a blistering novel about big ambitions, speaking out and standing up for what you believe in.

Tigger Blaize and Zee Andrews

Narrators of The Art of Being Normal, written by Lisa Williamson and published by Bolinda Audio

Tigger – I am an actor, working in theatre, TV, Film and Audio. I have skills in physical theatre, mask, puppetry, movement, and often sing and dance in theatre for family audiences. I identify as trans masculine and genderqueer, and am able to play role types which are female, male, trans or gender non conforming. I have a very young sounding voice and often play child or adolescent characters, particularly for radio or audio. From time to time I compere, or deliver workshops and seminars.

Zee – I grew up in the UK and have been in showbiz since 2014. I started out by going to my local Pauline Quirke Academy where I got my theatre legs. From there, I studied Performing Arts at West Herts College for three years whilst working on freelance voice acting projects. I also host a podcast where I talk to other artists about art forms that influenced them. Being transgender, breaking into the business has not been easy, although, I like to pride myself on my versatility as I am comfortable in taking on male and female roles. Overall, I am a fresh, warm, bubbly performer who never gives up and loves to exceed not only her own expectations, but those of the people she works with!

The Art of Being Normal is a story about two transgender teens who figure out how to navigate life with help from each other, from the award-winning author, Lisa Williamson.

Zoe Croft

Narrator of Hope Nicely’s Lessons for Life, written by Caroline Day and published by Bonnier Books UK

At the heart of this wonderful coming-of-age novel about loneliness, friendship and acceptance is a truly special main character, Hope Nicely. Born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, Hope is, as her mother Jenny always tells her, a rainbow person, a special drop of light. To voice a character as unique as Hope requires exceptional talent. Zoe Croft is able to beautifully echo Hope’s delightful honesty, disarming warmth and delicious humour in her narration.

Zoe is a multi-award-winning actress and filmmaker who is passionate about representing neurodiverse characters in the media. Like Hope, Zoe always wanted to be an author. But, like many children who have learning disabilities, she struggled in school and was told by a teacher that ‘people like her’ don’t become writers. Nearly a decade later, she decided to prove them wrong. Her first short film, Some Way Out, that she wrote, illustrated and starred in, won several awards – including best writer.

Zoe is thrilled to have voiced Hope and *hopes* you enjoy the story as much as she did! Not only does her talent and enjoyment of the story shine through in her narration, Zoe’s dedication to the project is demonstrated in the music she composed and recorded for the audiobook inspired by Hope Nicely.

Love Audio returns for a fifth year and will run from Monday 12 to Friday 16 July 2021.

Find out more about the #LoveAudio campaign here.