Terminator 2: Is Vodafone a secret Helen Daniels fan?

Apparently the voice (not face) of Vodafone should be a sporty, 'interesting' female from the south of England.

According to speech software business Rhetorical, the mobile operator asked it to supply a voice for its UK automated services, although the Vodafone press office was unable to say if such a voice would be used.

After weeks of listening to showreel tapes and auditioning people, Rhetorical believed it had hit the nail on the head with an actress who has appeared in Australian soaps but whose identity is a closely guarded secret (Terminator is imagining a cross between former women's England cricket captain Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Neighbours' Helen Daniels).

So, Rhetoric set about recording this elusive southern filly's voice over 10 days for several hours a day. Poor thing. One can only imagine how her backhand may have suffered through neglect. The result was a sound-bank of words, which could be broken down into basic units and reconstructed by computer into sentences.

Marc Moens, chief executive of Rhetorical, said: "The only way you can tell the difference is if you give the voice a tongue twister to say several times - a real actress would struggle."

So, who would the other operators choose? O2's Happy Hour promo might benefit from light entertainment master Bruce Forsythe. And what of Orange? Would the man from Del Monte say 'press one for yes?'

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