Send a text message to a UK landline and the recipient will now hear the missive read out by Doctor Who. Well, one of 'em, anyway. Yes, Tom Baker - for many, the definitive incarnation of the Time Lord - is the voice of BT's new text-to-speed system. Well, for three months, anyway.
In 2005, UK mobile users sent, on average, 82m texts a day - almost 30bn a year - to other handset owners. Now they can send them to landlines too, their often semi-literate, vowel-less jottings converted into Baker's warm, avuncular tones. For example, 'init?' becomes 'Isn't that so, dear boy. I was adored, you know...'
According to BT, Baker spent 11 days recording the 11,593 phrases the system cuts up and reassembles to (re)generate the text messages. The technology can cope with txt abbreviations and shorthand.
Apparently, the system is even able to cope with rude words, like 'Kasterborus' and 'Billie Piper'. ®