Monday, 24 April 2006 - Reported by Shaun Lyon
Tom Baker will no longer be the voice of BT's talking message service at the end of April, according to news reports. "The BT service which allows mobile phone users to have messages sent to landline telephones read out in the classic TV icon's voice will switch to two new voices," says the UK Press Association news feed. "The feature was introduced at the end of January allowing people to send their friends and family messages in the instantly recognisable actor's dulcet tones. But his voice is to be axed to allow the introduction of both male and female voices. The new voices will start being used from April 28 and will be rolled out nationally from May 1. Wendy McMillan, BT general manager, Consumer, said: 'Tom Baker has been a huge success and a great way to introduce a new audience to BT Text. 'As the technology develops we want to give people the option to have their texts delivered to landlines in a gender that is the same as their own or one they think will be more effective depending on the message they're sending. But if people haven't yet had their fill of Tom Baker they've still got more than a week to enjoy pretending to be The Doctor.' Research carried out by BT suggests male voices are appropriate for sending different messages to female voices. Seven out of ten people think male voices are better for telling jokes and were considered more powerful and better for disciplining children. Female voices were described as more comforting, truthful and persuasive than male voices." The story has also been reported today atYahoo News, The Guardian, The Sun, The Mirror, Manchester Evening News, The Scotsman.