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#161551 - 04/04/07 06:00 AM BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
British Telecom's speaking clock switched to a new voice on Monday, April 2 as Sara Mendes da Costa took over following the competition which was held at the end of last year. She becomes only the fourth "permanent" voice of the service since its inception by the old GPO in 1936.

Here's a quick collage of the voices I edited together last night:

GPO/BT Speaking Clock -- The Four Voices

In sequence:

#1. Jane Cain (also known as Ethel Cain), 1936 - 1963




#2. Pat Simmons, 1963 - 1985




#3. Brian Cobby, 1985 - 2007




#4. Sara Mendes da Costa, 2007 -





Only two other voices have ever been heard on the service briefly in more recent times.

For two weeks during March 2003 the voice of comedian Lenny Henry was used in support of Comic Relief:




And in October 2003 the voice of 12-year-old Scottish schoolgirl Alicia Roland was used for one week after she won a competition:



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#161598 - 04/05/07 01:41 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: pauluk]
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Paul,
Is it true that Tom Baker (Dr Who no.5(?)) was once the voice of the Speaking Clock, or am I mucked up with something else?.

{I just realised that my keyboard has no hash key, how can a telephone have one with so few keys and a keyboard not?.}
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#161607 - 04/05/07 03:27 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: Trumpy]
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Originally Posted By Trumpy
Is it true that Tom Baker (Dr Who no.5(?)) was once the voice of the Speaking Clock


No -- Not the British GPO/BT clock anyway. The people above are the only ones who have ever provided the voice.

Tom Baker did do a lot of narrations for TV shows, voiceovers for commercials, etc. Maybe you're thinking of something like that?

Oh, and he was the fourth Dr. Who!

1. William Hartnell, 1963 - 1966
2. Patrick Troughton, 1966 - 1969
3. Jon Pertwee, 1970 - 1974
4. Tom Baker, 1974 - 1981

I suppose you could count him as the fifth though if you include the fact that Peter Cushing played the Doctor in the two 1960s films!

Quote:
I just realised that my keyboard has no hash key


Not on shift-3? That's weird. U.K. PC keyboards have it over on the right near the return key because £ is above 3. Horrible layout!
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#161643 - 04/05/07 06:37 PM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: pauluk]
RODALCO Offline
Member
Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 854
Loc: Titirangi, Akld, New Zealand
No Hash key Mike ### should be above 333.
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#161836 - 04/08/07 03:10 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: RODALCO]
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Originally Posted By RODALCO
No Hash key Mike ### should be above 333.


He found it Ray -- Right above the 3 where it had been all along! wink

As an aside, I bet even some our Stateside friends have heard Brian Cobby's voice before.

He did a lot of voiceover work for TV in the sixties. One of his most famous:

"Five....Four....Three....Two....One....Thunderbirds are go!"

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#161841 - 04/08/07 03:59 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: pauluk]
Trumpy Offline


Member
Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8211
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Tom Baker turned up here as the voice-over for the Tui Beer ads.
I would post a link but it may breach our PG rating.
Really well done though!. grin

And who could forget that he is the voice-over on my favourite show Little Britain!.
Hi Ho Homies!. laugh


Edited by Trumpy (04/08/07 04:23 AM)
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#162390 - 04/18/07 02:31 PM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: Trumpy]
djk Offline
Member
Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1237
Loc: Ireland
Apple did it this way:

Alt+3 = # in the UK/Ireland Shift+3 = £
Alt+3 = £ in the US/Can and Shift+3 = #

They put the € in as Alt+2
Shift+2 = @
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#162393 - 04/18/07 03:06 PM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: djk]
Alan Belson Offline
Member
Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 1803
Loc: Mayenne N. France
Why would they want to change the "voice" anyway? Now they have to pay Ms da Costa, whereas Jane Cain's copyright/royalties are long expired. More money wasted by corporate morons with non-jobs and up go the bills. We must be getting close to another complete repaint of the vans and corporate logo fiasco! I suggest calling it the 'GPO' and to paint everything red! laugh
On this french keyboard # is right middle row [ sequence jkl;'# ] - easy!
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#162425 - 04/19/07 02:16 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: Alan Belson]
pauluk Offline
Member
Registered: 08/11/01
Posts: 7520
Loc: Norfolk, England
Quote:
On this french keyboard # is right middle row [ sequence jkl;'# ] - easy!


Same on the U.K. PC keyboards. For some peculiar reason they decided to put # on an extra key over on the right next to the enter key with ~ on its shifted position. Shift-3 is then £ (pound sterling).

The other thing I dislike intensely about the U.K. layout is that it's retained the original PC keyboard quirk of having \ located between Z and the left shift key. It's a horrible location. I use a U.S. layout keyboard at home, and whenever I have to go and do anything for one of my outside contracts I'm forever hitting \ when aiming for shift.

Quote:
and up go the bills.


Funny you should mention that. BT now charges 20 pence per call to the speaking clock. I can call a time service in America for less than it costs to call the local one. Crazy, ain't it? crazy

Quote:
We must be getting close to another complete repaint of the vans and corporate logo fiasco!


At least they haven't started coming up with daft names like Embarq or deciding that putting everything in lower case -- at&t -- somehow looks "cool & trendy." frown
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#162427 - 04/19/07 02:26 AM Re: BT "Speaking Clock" gets new voice [Re: pauluk]
djk Offline
Member
Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 1237
Loc: Ireland
Paul, I am not sure what our speaking clock in Ireland costs it's on 1191. It used to be 191 and charged at local call rates, however, I'm not sure what the rate is now.

It used to be in an almost received pronouciation female voice with a slightly irish accent however, it's now in eircom's trademarked standard male voice that they use for all announcements.

The format's different from the UK one (and always has)

Just at the signal it will be 11:10 and 10 seconds "beep"
At the signal, it will be 11:10 and 20 seconds "beep"

At the signal, it will be "eleven zero and zero seconds "beep"."

It does the time in 24 hour clock format only.

We used to have WeatherDial service from the met office on a similar short code for the price of a local call.

You dialled 192 or something, I can't remember the codes. They're in the old phone books though.

You'd get "The following is the forecast for the next 36 hours in the "insert provence" area: then a recorded forecast from the Met service.

Now, you have to dial a premium rate number for similar service..



Edited by djk (04/19/07 02:28 AM)
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