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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Speaking clock seeking new voice
Mascot Pudsey Bear and Terry Wogan in front of Big Ben
This year's Children in Need is on Friday 17 November
Members of the public are in with a chance of becoming the new voice of the speaking clock.

A contest is being run in conjunction with the BBC's Children in Need appeal, with hopefuls invited to submit telephone recordings of their voice.

Brian Cobby, 77, who has been the voice of the speaking clock for 21 years, will help decide on who replaces him.

"Things have changed over all these years and I think my voice is a bit posh now," Mr Cobby said.

'Clarity and warmth'

"It's like the BBC, think of the newsreaders you had 50 years ago compared to the ones you have today," he added.

A spokesman for the competition said: "The contest is open to young and old, to male or female, and to every accent. We have no preconceived ideas of what the new voice should sound like."

I have been very proud to be the speaking clock and I have thoroughly enjoyed it
Brian Cobby

Mr Cobby, who beat 5000 hopefuls when he auditioned in 1985, had some advice for anyone wanting to enter.

"Regardless of accent, the key thing the judges will be looking for are clarity and warmth," he said.

"People are calling you because they want to know the time, so they must be able to understand you very clearly."

More than 70 million calls are made to the speaking clock each year.

"I have been very proud to be the speaking clock and I have thoroughly enjoyed it," Mr Cobby added.

Guest speakers have included Lenny Henry, who voiced the clock in March 2003 for Comic Relief, and Scottish schoolgirl Alicia Roland, who temporarily voiced it in October 2003 for the charity Childline.

The winner of the Children in Need competition will be the fourth permanent speaker.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
People try their voice out as the speaking clock



SEE ALSO
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20 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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