Now's your chance to be the voice of the speaking clock

Lynsey Barber
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A view of a replica of a British Telecom
You could be one of just five people who have the claim to fame (Source: Getty)

Clear your throat, gargle that water and prepare for the opportunity to go down in British history... as the voice of the talking clock.

Yep, it still exists (somehow still receiving 12m calls a year) and BT wants to find a new person to takeover the prestigious job - only the fifth in the peculiarly British institution's 80 year history.

The hunt begins today for the next telephone star, with BT launching the competition (open to anyone aged over 10) on the BBC's One Show this evening.

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Starting out in 1936 as a regional service in London, people dialled just the first three letters of the word Time to get exactly that, resulting in it being given the name Tim (although it's actually officially called Timeline, not , in fact, the speaking clock).

The winner will be chosen by the soon-to-be former voice of the clock for the last decade, Sara Mendes da Costa. She said: “I’m so honoured to have been the voice - only the fourth permanent voice in history - and to be part of such an iconic service.

“I’m sad to be at the end of my time as the voice of the BT Speaking Clock, however ten years is not a bad run. And it’ll be great to be on the judging panel to choose the new voice, just as my predecessor Brian Cobby helped choose me.”

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Cobby was the voice of the service from 1984 until 2007 and also happens to be the man behind the countdown in TV series Thunderbirds.

Come November, it could be you telling everyone your claim to fame is telling the country the time.

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