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Published on January 31st, 2006 | by Christian Cawley

The Voice of Text…

You know those mobile phones? Well did you know you can text not only to mobiles but to landlines? And that BT have a nice lady to read them out? It’s entirely automated, of course, and requires some poor soul – previously that nice lady – to sit for something like 70 hours reading out words. And often it’s the same word repeated with a different nuance or phrasing.

Well by jingo, Tom Baker is the new Voice of Text! he’s been everywhere today, from BBC Breakfast News to the TalkSport radio station talking about this excellent service which means – quite reasonably – that you can text people messages in the voice of Tom Baker!

The BBC News site quotes the great man as saying:

“What appeals to me most is the thought that I will be bringing good news to people whether it is a cheeky message, a birthday greeting, or just a quick hello. Whatever it is, hopefully my voice will bring a smile to people’s faces.”

A great deal more information can be found, meanwhile on the BT corporate website, which notes that:

Tom had to record 11,593 phrases, which covered every single sound in the English language in each of their different contexts.

These were then broken down into combinations of sounds that could be separated and reassembled by computer to make new words following the rules of English pronunciation – similar to the way children are taught to read. This means there is no limit to the words the voice can say, even rude ones.

Well, you can’t fault them really, can you?

Meanwhile, Fourth Doctor Who Tom also appeared on the TalkSport radio station between around 14.30, but wouldn’t be drawn on matters of Doctor Who, preferring instead to reminisce and talk about Little Britain and of course the BT text messaging service. (Thanks to www.eyeofhorus.org.uk for the screengrab above!)

And meanwhile, good news for fans of the BBC Audio Book range. unitnews.co.uk have alerted us to the news that David Tennant will be recording the “talking book” versions of the Tenth Doctor BBC novels The Stone Rose, The Resurrection Casket, and The Feast of the Drowned

According to Commissioning Editor Kate Walsh:

“I’m absolutely delighted that David will be reading these three books for us, not only because you’ll be guaranteed a cracking listen with him bringing the stories to life but also due to how special it will make the audio books for fans of the TV series.

“… having David read means we can include some added extras for those interested in hearing more about him, on top of the terrifically exciting stories written by Stephen Cole, Jacqueline Rayner and Justin Richards. They will make fantastic publications!”

David will be recording these audio books next month, due for a July release.

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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