Although very few people actually listen to the key note speeches given by our Party leaders, their ability to stand for over an hour and deliver their speech from memory without notes or an autocue never ceases to impress. Now, even that illusion has been shattered with Reeder’s admissions.
‘I’ve been working with David Cameron right from the start, having been engaged initially as a voice coach tasked with training him to project his voice into an auditorium,’ admitted Reeder. ‘ His thin words only ever seemed to reach a minority of the audience, so I took over, using ventriloquism to throw my voice. I stand at the side of the stage and read from a script. All Dave has to do is mime, look ever so slightly sweaty and I do the rest.’
‘I work for Ed Miliband too and I’m pleased to see that has done wonders for his image,’ continued Reeder. ‘For a while he was voiced by Peter Sallis, but Peter retired and I took over. I wasn’t able to reproduce Peter’s voice perfectly, but a Labour Press Office story about Ed having an adenoid operation was concocted to cover up the change in his diction.’
Reeder’s engagements extend beyond the political arena. ‘‘I even did Ed’s wedding speech last year. As a joke, I was asked to make his voice project from the wedding cake to surprise Justine, his wife. Unfortunately, thanks to the poor acoustics, it appeared that he was talking out of his arse. Still, no damage was done as one seemed to notice.’
‘Although the old fashioned music hall ventriloquist act is long gone, this is a good time to be a ventriloquist,’ said Reeder. ‘I understand Nick Clegg auditioned a number of vents recently and hired an old hand whose voice he thought would give the right amount of gravitas to balance his boyish looks. All was well at a constituency speech recently until Clegg absentmindedly took a slip from a glass of water. All the vent could think of doing was to mutter ‘a gottle of geer, a gottle of geer’.