Tom Baker launched as voice of BT text messaging

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Thursday, February 2, 2006

Tom Baker, one of the ten actors to play The Doctor in the BBC's long-running television series Doctor Who, has become the voice of the new BT text messaging voice service, which translates a text message sent from a mobile phone to a BT landlines into a voice messages heard by the receiver as an answerphone message.

Baker's voice will replace the earlier computer-synthesized voice that was previously used. BT said that his voice was chosen as it was instantly recognisable. It took him 11 days to record 11,593 phrases and sounds which could then be broken down and reassembled by a computer to make new words. It then took five months to process these recordings to make a workable service.

BT have said that there will be no barriers as to what Tom Baker's voice can 'say', including rude words. "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," said Baker.

The service, which can only be received by those with a BT line, costs nothing to receive voice messages, and text messages are charged at the normal rate.

BT GROUP revealed that texts to landlines had soared 70 per cent in volume on the first day that Tom Baker's voice was used to deliver messages, and have now passed the three million mark in just ten days.