back to article 5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

Five per cent of Britons would choose the voice of Nigel Farage as their in-car virtual assistant. And 3 per cent want to be advised of traffic jams ahead by the Chuckle Brothers. The poll of over 2,000 Britons for voice company Nuance suggests a wide range of celebrity choices, although perhaps thankfully, more would choose a …

  1. Geoffrey W

    Political guidance systems tend to be a touch limited...

    Turn Right

    Turn Right

    Turn Right


    Turn Left

    Turn Left

    Turn Left


    Straight Ahead

    Straight Ahead

    Straight Ahead


    Stay At Home!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Turn Right

      Turn Right

      Turn Right


      Turn Right

      Turn Right

      Turn Right

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Where politically expedient make a U-Turn

      U-turn if you want to

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The lady's not for turning.

        (I'd like to hear that in her original accent.)

  2. lansalot

    puff pant...

    But who will get in first with the "ah but he just kept repeating that I should turn to the right, and we ended up going round in circles" bit...?

  3. Unep Eurobats

    Wot no Kathy Klugston?

    That is all.

    1. TWB

      Re: Wot no Kathy Klugston?

      Eigh-ut might confuse too many people.

      Nice to know someone else here listens to R4 (I like her)

    2. Commswonk

      Re: Wot no Kathy Klugston?

      No Charlotte Green either, more's the pity.

    3. davemcwish

      Re: Wot no Kathy Klugston?

      Thanks but Charlotte Green still is the doyenne of R4 imho

    4. eurobloke

      Re: Wot no Kathy Clugston?

      Or any of the other Radio 4 crumpets like Corrie Corfield, Susan Rae or even Charlotte Green.

      1. Geoffrey W

        Oh, Charlotte Green...

        With her oddly cute bob and her exquisite voice. I would listen, repeatedly, to the News Quiz, before she retired, just to hear her read all the saucy clippings between bits. Mr Sleat just isn't the same. I should start a fan club.

    5. asdf

      Re: Wot no Michael Cain?

      As a Yank there is one sure fire butler voice in my head, Michael Caine (some men just want to watch the world burn often describes my commute driving). Doesn't hurt the dude has been cool as sh1t his whole career as well.

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Re: Wot no Michael Cain?

        Michael Caine would be good for avoiding the traffic jams in Italian cities as well (but not so good in the Italian countryside).

        1. Not That Andrew

          Re: Wot no Michael Cain?

          And he'd get you killed in Newcastle.

  4. sandman


    I'd like HAL 9000, so soothing and controlled. ;-) I suppose Farage or Trump would be easier to shout at though, particularly when they insisted that you always turn right.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: Soothing

      I think Morgan Freeman would fit in this category.... but if the voice warns you about the "longest night of your life.", be afraid. Be very afraid.

      Disclaimer: I'm in the States so Mr. Freeman's voice may not go over too well in Blighty.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Soothing

        Disclaimer: I'm in the States so Mr. Freeman's voice may not go over too well in Blighty.

        No, he'd be fine. He's one of those Americans who doesn't speak in a grating nasal whine.

      2. Swarthy

        Re: Soothing (Morgan Freeman)

        Morgan Freeman was an option on Waze for a time, in the run-up to London has Fallen.

        I used it, it was awesome.

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: Soothing

      Trump wouldn't say 'turn right'. He'd say "Go! Go! You'll be amazed, you won't believe how good it is when you're going. You'll go so great you'll be bored with going."

      And if you ask him which way, he'll say "I told you already, go now!"

      It'd be like taking directions from my 4-year-old, just with a slightly wider vocabulary.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if installation of the Nigel Farage voice will automatically remove European maps from your satnav?

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      It's not European maps you want to worry about

      Even better, the Nigel Farage voice pack will always advise you if <a href='">immigrants are blocking the M4</a>

  6. AbelSoul

    "For the next 400 miles.."

    "Keep to the right."

    1. ashdav

      Re: "For the next 400 miles.."

      You left out "going forward"

  7. Ian 56

    I know roads. I have the best roads. This road is the best.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You're driving in England? They're losers, they drive on the wrong side of the road, they don't believe in traffic lights, they have those crazy roundabouts... roundabouts, that'll, that will, only work in socialist countries. That's what they try to make you into, a place where everybody is equal, where you have to wait for everybody else no matter what your're doing or what they're doing. In America we have traffic lights, you know when it's your turn dammit. And don't even get me started on Kilometers, how the hell to you know how far you're going when nothing is in miles?"

      1. David 138

        wtf is a kilometre everything is in miles in the UK. We drive on the other side of the road so we can stab you in the face with a sword with our best arm! And the reason we have roundabouts and traffic lights is we are too rude and inconsiderate to wait for someone else turn! However unlike Americans when we see someone in need we do help. We dont just shoot them, hit them with the bible or throw them in a volcano if your tom cruise :P

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    A Nigel Farage sat nav is all well and good, but good luck trying to drive to the south of France with it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's Ed Miliband?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ed Milliband

      Busy making U turns?

      Or did he just take the wrong direction and get lost somewhere?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Where's Ed Miliband?"

      good question ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sobbing in to a bacon roll at his local Wetherspoons.

    4. itzman

      Re: where is Ed milliband?

      Who is Ed Milliband?

  10. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Four paragraphs about Stephen Fry? Tch,

    Okay, we get it... he's earned a lot of money from his pen (er, succession of Macs and a non-Word word-processors), his columns for newspapers have been collected and published in book form, his novels best sellers, he was a close friend of the much championed constructive critic of technology Douglas Adams, he's spent a lot of money of gadgets and cocaine...

    One can only assume that Mr Orlowski watches too much UK television if he is that irritated by Stephen Fry. I say this kindly: someone get him a PVR, or Kodi with extensions, or Netflix subscription or whatever... it's the 21st century FFS, you can do this with a £20 dongle and your phone these days! We do not have to put up whatever falls into your gogglebox over the airwaves anymore (I'm assuming Mr Orlowski has broadband internet). One can only assume passive over-exposure to Stephen Fry is the reason behind his animosity, because it would be impolite to ascribe it to the jealousy of one writer for another.

    I like Stephen Fry, his writings, his performances in Black Adder and Jeeves and Wooster, his journey towards self-acceptance, his presenting of suitable TV shows even. I don't watch QI or advertisements, though. I'm not adverse to people taking the piss out of him, but since such people have included Clement Freud et al on Just a Minute it seems a bit redundant here.

    1. Just Enough

      Continued obsession

      Apparently a professional actor doing voice-overs in adverts is something to be embarrassed about. This will be news to actors the world over who think it's part of earning their living.

      Company produces poll as marketing ploy, including reference to Stephen Fry. Otherwise Fry is entirely unconnected with it. But Orlowski uses it as an excuse to continue his obsession with Fry, and fills half the story with entirely unrelated bitching about him.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Continued obsession

        "Company produces poll as marketing ploy, including reference to Stephen Fry. Otherwise Fry is entirely unconnected with it. But Orlowski uses it as an excuse to continue his obsession with Fry, and fills half the story with entirely unrelated bitching about him."

        Exactly! On a similar note, I wonder how many people chose a name because they felt they had to, ie thought that choosing "none of the above" might make them look a bit thick? If it had been a free choice, I bet that not only would their be a lot more names in the list, but the "controversial" ones like Farage and Fart wouldn't even get a showing. It's marketing crap and El Reg fell for it.

  11. g e

    No Tomtom Baker?


    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: No Tomtom Baker?

      If Tom Baker voiced a satnav, you'd end up sailing around in circles in the English Channel for seven weeks, drinking your own wee. And he'd have started drinking his own wee before the car was even out of the garage.

      1. mrjohn

        Re: No Tomtom Baker?

        Ask Mr Baker to narrate at your own peril

        Not a man who suffers fools lightly

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: No Tomtom Baker?


          And, appropriately enough, the YouTube ID code for the link almost, but not quite, reads "idiot" at first glance :-)

  12. Roger Kynaston

    Rab C Nesbitt

    I once had a passenger with a broad glaswegian accent trying to direct me to a place in Bristol - it was highly amusing. Perhaps it should be interspersed with Brian Sewell though.

  13. BurnT'offering

    At first, I thought, Farage? Nooooo???

    But then I though, as long as I can have him respond to my own choice of nickname, why not? Although I suppose "Oi. you smirking prat" might be a bit of a mouthful

  14. AndrueC Silver badge

    TT>"I'm lost, I give up."

    Driver>"You can't do that!"

    TT>"Oh all right, I'll take you a bit further then if you insist."

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a toss up between...

    Oliver Postgate (Voice of The Clangers, Ivor The Engine,etc)


    R Lee Ermey (Drill Sergeant in Full Metal Jacket)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its a toss up between...

      "Where would you like to go? The top left-hand corner of Wales?"

  16. Necronomnomnomicon


    TomTom set up a Brian Blessed one a few years ago, so the best voice is already available.

    1. Stephen W Harris





    2. wolfetone Silver badge


      "Toll Charge. Use the exact amount and tell them to keep the change"

  17. Anonymous Blowhard

    What about Margaret Thatcher? Or would her aversion to turning preclude her?

  18. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Fry's proper voice over credits

    Cheshire Cat.

    I definitely would not mind Chesh to be my GPS voice. Anything else aside - he is likely to avoid the more conflict routes.

  19. Mike Shepherd

    Why should

    Why should my chauffeur need to converse with the butler?

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: Why should

      To discuss your, ahem, "Foibles" when you're not listening.

  20. MiguelC Silver badge

    Bit off-topic...

    But "Dairylea" is such a bad bad name for a food product.

    And I suffer from just mild dyslexia...

  21. Dan 55 Silver badge

    But what about BBC Food recipes?

    I want to know why it is wrong to like them.

  22. Jeffrey Nonken

    As a 'Murrican I find I prefer a generic female British voice, and went out of my way to download one for my Garmin. I did try Pam, the Aussie who apparently is a favorite, but for myself I like the English lady better. Also had one in my Magellan years ago.

    It is mildly amusing when they use different terms for things than we do in the US. "On ramp" or "off ramp" becomes "slip road". "Legal" U-turn becomes "authorized". "Highway" or "freeway" becomes "motorway". Kinda cool, really. Like a tiny glimpse into a different culture.

    1. EuKiwi

      Good for you!

      Getting educated on the proper terms for things :D

      I had the Kiwi one set up a while ago on mine just to have a taste of home, and whilst the phrases such as 'Chuck a U-y here bro, choice' and 'Mate, turn around let's go get us a mean steak and cheese pie' were hilarious in the beginning, it did get tiresome after a few thousand iterations.

    2. Simon Harris

      Just don't drive on the pavement when you come to the UK

    3. Geoffrey W

      I used to think Americans were really, really, friendly. We would all get together at a four way stop and wave at each other.

      "They're not waving," said wife. "They're saying its your turn. Move it buster!"

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Had an American rental car that very politely read out abbreviations in full.

      Unfortunately it though that "St" was an abbreviation for Saint and "Dr" was doctor

      So we turned into "Martin Luther King Doctor" and drove down several "Main Saints"

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        "It is mildly amusing when they use different terms for things than we do in the US. "On ramp" or "off ramp" becomes "slip road". "Legal" U-turn becomes "authorized". "Highway" or "freeway" becomes "motorway". Kinda cool, really. Like a tiny glimpse into a different culture."

        It's funny you find it amusing when you heard the British (or European) words for things in your own country. However, I have to say it's a mild irritant for me to have the sat nav on my phone say "traffic circle" when I come up to a "roundabout". It's a roundabout.

        No one has ever heard of The Magic Traffic Circle have they?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          No one has ever heard of The Magic Traffic Circle have they?

          Those of us that have would have to kill you if we told you!

          -- Puff the magic circle

  23. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    I gather John Cleese was an option at one stage:

    "Right! Now turn left!"

    I bet he could handle swearing back at the driver as well. Battery sergeant major 'Shut up' Williams could do that nicely too:

    "I'll make you turn left so fast YOUR FEET WON'T TOUCH THE GROUND!!!"

    Megaphone not really needed, I suppose

  24. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Farage No Garage

    5% of drivers want Nigel Farage to be their in-car robo butler

    And I'd like him to clean my toilet with his tongue, but I don't think a poll would see it happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Farage No Garage

      "And I'd like him to clean my toilet with his tongue, but I don't think a poll would see it happen."

      I know a Pole who'd watch, though .... if he wasn't busy working, anyway ....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Farage No Garage

      Newsflash.Farage reviled by people too lazy and stupid to clean their own toilets, so need to employ a sub minimum wage Romanian instead.

  25. graeme leggett Silver badge

    what no?

    Did no-one ask for Stampy's boyish glee?

    Or Fenella Fielding's husky voice

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think the chuckle brothers is a good idea, they've only just finished with their Christmas presents.

  27. Captain DaFt

    Psst, ahem, listen...

    Say there's this... ah, 'friend' I'd like to buy a gift for... to, ah, show there's no hard feelings over that little 'prank'.

    Can I get him one with Fran Drescher's voice?

  28. Commswonk

    It's all very well, but...'s a bit unnerving when you tell your passenger a joke and the SatNav laughs at it.

  29. Dogsauce

    It has to be someone you don't feel guilty for swearing at when they send you the wrong way. Farage is ideal for the job.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Satnav/Butler/thing - do you know where this place is?"

    Satnav: "It depends on what the meaning of word 'is' is" ....

  31. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    This hard-hitting piece of Ig-Nobel-worthy bleating edge research will be required reading for when the slackers get back into the office tomorrow morning! I'm off to the printer...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Donald Trump?

    At the intersection, take a yuuuuge right turn, your destination is on your left. And let me tell you, it is a terrific destination, the best there is!

  33. Ralph B

    Johnny Cab

    Well, one can see a certain similarities between the careers of Nigel Farage and and Johnny Cab from Total Recall.

  34. Erroneous Howard

    I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the ordering of the list (unless I missed it). Sticks Nigel Farage at the top despite not being either alphabetical or the most popular choice. Must just be my OCD but it bugs the hell out of me that there's no particular rhyme or reason for the order. It also seems to add up to 139% - so I assume people could vote for multiple options?

    As for voices, has to be Morgan Freeman. That voice is just like melting butter.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rubber protection

    I first read the headline as

    "5% want Nigel Farage to be their on car rubber bumper"

    I think that would be an excellent idea although car insurance premiums would rocket. "Sorry dear, had another parking accident and squashed Nigel again"

    For an in-car voice, Farage would be far too annoying, as he is in real life. I would opt for the dulcet tones of Papa Lazarou

  36. Simon Harris

    Michael McIntyre 11% ?

    Because satnavs always work so much better after you've punched them in the face.

  37. ArrZarr Silver badge

    Nigel Farage would be useless as a sat nav voice - the only directions he would ever give are to leave Europe...

  38. fixit_f

    More worryingly...

    Who the ACTUAL F**K are the 11% of people who want Michael McIntyre in their car.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: More worryingly...

      Maybe he has a lot of relatives?

  39. Pedigree-Pete

    Sir Tel

    No option for the late, great Sir Terry Wogan. I thought that used to be a Sat Nav voce over option. (or was just that my radio stuck on BBC R2!) PP

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon