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Wednesday 15 August 2007

Celebrity Voices for your TomTom GO [Beej]

I recently bought a TomTom GO 720. I've scoured the interweb for free voices so that when I'm out on a MINI Adventure™ a celebrity can speak my directions to me. In my search I found 102 "review copies" (ahem) of celebrity-ish voices to review. Presumably we're actually supposed to part cash for these, from Mobile Ringtone scum and so forth. Almost all voices are a bad impersonation, and very few are authentic. They're done by voice actors well below the standard set by Stella Street, Dead Ringers, and Sir Rory of Bremner.

To save you searching, downloading, installing, testing or paying for the voices, here are the ones which I think are worth getting:

  • 76_Lady Newsreader is not a newsreader, its a heavily edited heavily digitised neutral female British voice. Borderline mediocre, 5/10.
  • 83_Andy Siddell is a Magic FM DJ. Very clear voice, with local radio super-friendliness. 7/10!
  • 84_Justin Moorhouse is the real deal comedian from Phoenix Nights. 9/10!
  • 85_Liz Whitaker is a local radio DJ, only she looks hawt too. Perfect satnav voice, 9/10!
  • 88_John_Cleese really is the man himself. Available direct from TomTom if you pays up teh monies, but 8/10 to me.

Every other voice I tried out of the hundred or so - including KITT, Arnie, GW Bush, Tony Blair, Joanna Lumley, Ozzy, Patrick Stewart - are all awful. A-W-F-U-L. Not the real deal, and not even good impersonations. Man down the pub stuff.

There's definitely a market for these done by real voice actors, or even the real people. I'd pay a pound or two a go. If you were recording these you'd only need to sell a thousand or so to break even on an appearance fee I reckon?


  1. Found a couple more good freebies: 76_Vicki_Archer is another DJ from Magic. Very clear calm delivery, no quips to distract you. 80_Big_John from HallAm Radio, not the Domestos adverts. Opposite of the above, he's upbeat and slipped a couple of gags in.These local radio DJs are all available for free download from Ray Flanagan's TomTom pages.

  2. Did you scour that hard, mate? There are real celebrities for TomTom here:

  3. It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife... and isn't it ironic that Gary Busey doesn't sound like how you think Gary Busey should sound? Well that's not really fair, what I mean to say is that he doesn't sound like Commander Krill.[Krill is dressed as a drag queen]Commander Krill: Do I look like I need a psychological evaluation? William Strannix: Not at all.I had a quick look over your site. You seem to be missing the most obvious FAQ that was really, straight away what I wanted to ask... and its in fact why I wrote this blog in the first place."How do I know these actors are real?".You're selling authentic celeb voices alongside, well, fucking random ones like the overacted Yank/Brit stereotypes (the Brits are surprisingly good really, I take it all back). Take "Svennis" for instance. Bloody good impression of The Swede, but presumably not the real guy hence the name, but you're selling him alongside real deal celebrity voices? Fair enough but makes me wonder when I should be diving for the Visa.Hell, in an ideal world, you wouldn't just have a sound clip of Mr T, you'd have a video of him in the booth reading from his script so I know its really really really him, recording samples for my TomTom with the Power of the Lord.If I'm to burn up 13 bucks... I'd probably go for T. He sounds, well, awesome, and I like the idea of "get off the motorway, foo!".


  4. Thanks for the input, Beej. We'll add the most obvious of FAQs to the site straight away. Those other voices you mention are TomTom's idea of fun - we just provide the service for those which they've produced. As for a video, while it isn't Mr. T, there is this:

    Is that a bit more Krill-esque?


  5. The thing about these voices is they kind of sound like they'd be great, but then you listen to them and realise it's a bit of a novelty. That's obvious, I guess. I'd rather some practical ones though. Maybe something like Sylvia but just less overtly filthy so you aren't going to get in trouble with the missus, while still being a lovely sexy female voice just the same.


  6. Just to let you know, Navtones has added joke-free "Standard" voices to our catalog to mitigate the novelty factor you mention. Many think these are better for daily driving, whilst the Funny joke-laden version is great for the mother-in-law. Thanks for sharing your input.


  7. Erm,we haven't shared our input with regards your product offering. No input shared. None at all. Indeed, a cynical observer might assume you're simply here to plug your own services. However we're not cynical. We're EED. So do fuck off.


  8. In point of fact, I now suggest we open a PayPal account that allows random seller weenies to submit to us a fee for promoting their products on this here website. Its a well known fact that we receive more traffic than Facebook, and more hate mail than that bloke from Zimbabwe ("Your move Mugabe"). So if you want Katie-Price-like exposure, please forward £500 to EED Towers, care of the Slim-meister, and we'll sort you out.

  9. Thanks for the input, Bright Brit.


  10. Hi Navguy. Good work! I think you've got a real lead on other websites that try/claim/fail to offer celeb voices. It's really easy to navigate what you've got too, since your changes. We could perhaps get a voice done of Brit. If you can imagine 70% Basil Fawlty, 10% George Michael, 20% up for speculation tbh... that's what we'd be offering ;-)