back to article Speaking clock gets Disneyfied

Middle England should prepare to drop its trousers, bend over the table and accept the painful truth that if anything in this Sceptred Isle was ever sacred, it isn't any more. As of the end of British Summer Time on Sunday, BT's famous speaking clock will be voiced by Tinker Bell - the result of a "sponsorship deal with Disney …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    That is all.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm guessing....

    ...that the voice of Tinker Bell is not going to be a sultry, husky velvet voiced siren?


    ...could have saved a fortune on those 'special' numbers !!

  3. Nick

    At least its not Mickey

    or that bloody Donald Duck.

    Who calls that number any way these days?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Where do I sign up to complain?

    I need to compose a "disappointed" letter

    Angry of Middle England

  5. George Speller
    Paris Hilton

    . . .at the third stroke . . .

    Many years ago as a rookie techie at Broadcasting House, during a time when TIM was reportedly giving some trouble, I was given the task of monitoring it _all night_ on a pair of headphones. How I survived even the "dulcet tones" without going completely mad I'll never know. Maybe I did go completely mad. Pat Simmons never dropped a millisecond, but I learnt to recite TIM off line with astonishing accuracy.

    Tinker Bell? What have we come to . . . .?

    Paris 'cos she's got the time for anyone.

  6. Sam


    Anyone else remember "at the third stroke, the time sponsored by Accurist will be..."

  7. Martin

    All together now

    I dont believe in Fairies...

  8. Anonymous Coward


    This isn't April, is it? Could BT be like the computerised Holly and be unable to wait the necessary months with a red hot jape like this under their belt?

  9. AC

    people still call the speaking clock?


  10. Chris

    Oh FFS.

    Bloody Disney.

    That is all.

  11. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    Waste of money on Disney's part.

    Does anyone actually have a use for the speaking clock any more?

  12. Paul Murphy

    Is it April 1st already?

    I thought Christmas came next, then more chocolate in the shape of eggs.

    Oh well..


  13. Hollerith
    Paris Hilton

    I happened to dial 123 the other day

    I needed to reset my clocks after a power outage, so phoned 123 and thought how nice the voice was, even with 'Accurest' attached to every 10 second call. I suppose Disney is just another form of advertising, but one wonders if anybody at BT takes any pride in their work any more, or if everything us up for sale.

    Paris, because, next to BT, even she has her standards.

  14. Tom Richardson


    Does anyone in the country still use the speaking clock? I can't think of a single situation where I'd need to.

  15. Graham Marsden

    Personally I preferred...

    ... Kenny Everett's version which had Cleo Rocos in Dominatrix gear doing the "At the third stroke" voice, then lashing KE three times to make him say "Bip, bip, bip!"

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Joke right? April Fools early?

    Well BT had so much money left over after the Phorm debacle, now they haven't got to go to court, I suppose they had time and money to wine and dine Disney execs!

    You see the once in a blue moon I want the speaking clock, is usually somewhere very busy and very noisy. Trying to discern the time from bleedin' Tinkerbell, on a mobile, while in a noisy computer room, setting my NTP servers, that will be a barrel of laughs!

  17. michael


    "and not to punt some bloody speaking fairy flick"

    do I sence a little anooince there? maby you should relax a bit and watch a film? might I sugest .....o hell with it I was trying to be funny but I just coudent be bothered any more it is just not worth it ......*bang*

  18. Kenneth MacKinnon

    The time *sponsored* by ...

    The speaking clock has had commercial sponsorship for some time. This is just the next logical step. The rot set in a long time ago!

  19. Pete Foster


    Now that the speaking clock is sponsored, does that mean the 30p cost will be reduced?

    Didn't think so...

  20. Iain

    Dear God Save Us All

    Hands up everyone who has used the speaking clock.

    Suspects *tumbleweed*

  21. Bassey
    Thumb Down

    I have an idea

    If we all say, together "I don't believe in Faries, I don't believe in Faries" over and over, will Tinker Bell fuck off and die?

    Just a thought

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that Tesco didn't get there first!!!

  23. Matthew Coulson
    Thumb Up

    It does get used!

    Actually use it at least once a month. The last voice change I called it literally minutes after it had been switched, unaware there was any plan to.

    Gets used to set physical clocks, or as an easy to dial line test number. Also to wind up coworkers by forwarding it on.

  24. Pete James

    Antiques Roadshow

    I was watching it last week - what on earth is all this fuss about Fiona Bruce anyway? - and they had some horologist chappie on with the old speaking clock which he claimed stopped on the day Pat Simmons died. Completely irrlevant I know but still almost interesting.

    Anyway, Disney eh? Tsk, So let me get this straight. We have a cartoon fairy that we have to pay to listen to, and they expect us to believe every word they are saying.

    Reminds me of Peter Mandelson.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    One small detail

    Tinkerbell has spoken before - I distictly remember Julia roberts as Tinkerbell in Hook talking and trying to seduce Peter. I quick search on wikipedia suggests that she has spoken in several different film adaptations - just not in the original book.

    You can guess why I'm posting this anonymously though. :)

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get a watch...

    ...that sets itself to the standard time signal. Or a phone that synchs with the network's clock... Or even set your watch to the pips on R4 once a week, or once a month.

  27. Stuart Finlayson
    Paris Hilton

    Sweet voice?

    Far from not speaking, Tinkerbell in the book is noted for her rudeness and foul language. Her first words are "You silly ass" and she doesn't get any politer. I salute any company bringing sweary fairies to the nation's telephones.

    Paris, obviously, because she is the Tinkerbell of today!

  28. Adam Williamson
    Thumb Up

    George Speller

    I suspect your new colleagues got you good and proper on that one.

    Scene: The Pub, somewhere close to Broadcasting House

    Two experienced techies are on their third pints

    Bob: Ere, you'll never guess what I've got that new kid doing.

    Terry: What's that, then?

    Bob: I've only got him listening to the speaking clock all night long.

    Terry: Heh,'d you manage that then?

    Bob: Told him it was giving "periodic, untraceable problems", didn't I?

    Terry: One born every minute, innit? Another round?

    Bob: Don't mind if I do...

    And on topic - truly, the glories of privatization are many and wondrous.

  29. Thomas Baker

    Swearing Fairies!

    Is there a website I can look at?

  30. Dave

    NTP and MSF

    I have a clock that tracks MSF (or DCF if it can't get MSF), plus I have various computers that sync to network time, so I haven't needed the speaking clock for several years.

  31. J
    Black Helicopters

    Sara Mendes da Costa?

    With that typically Brazilian name, she'd better be careful when taking the tube in London. Or something.

  32. Dave

    Ever tried the website? seems to be voiced by Catherine Tate.

    "At ve fird stroke, ve time wiw be, yeah, innit, like..."

  33. Ascylto

    The Voice

    At least it's a North American voice (as hideous as that is) and not one (as one might expect from BT) sourced in a sub-continent far, far away ...

    Hello, this is Derek, with hopings you are seeking the time in a correct manner ... pip ... pip ... piiiiiip.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You mean that damn squeak isn't going to be permanent? Thank God!!!

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