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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 11:41 GMT
Actor Baker becomes voice of text
Tom Baker
Former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker is to be the voice of a talking text message service for three months.

He replaces BT's computerised voice which currently translates texts into voice messages on a landline.

Baker, 72, who also narrates sketch show Little Britain, was chosen for his instantly recognisable voice.

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.

Engineers then spent five months processing the recordings so the computer would be able to recognise it and translate them into words using English pronunciation.

Rude words

The service also recognises common text abbreviations such as "gr8" and will translate "xx" into "kiss kiss", while "xxxx" is "lots of kisses".

BT says there are no barriers to what 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.

"Whatever it is, hopefully my voice will bring a smile to people's faces."

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