Birmingham new street auto announcer Phil

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kvbham

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Just been to New street and realised that Phil has gone. The lady is the same but a birmingham accent has replaced Phil which is difficult to hear. Anybody know what's happened and why?
 
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chuckles1066

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Policy across the board apparently, regional accents being the way forward.
The railways go from strength to strength, I see.

Can we look forward to "ess me 'andsom, the next train'll be along dreckly like" in Penzance?

Or "awch awee yer feece end haud yer wheesht ya wee sassehs, the next wee trenn ezz due enn en aboot three wee minetts" at Glasgow?
 

Robinson

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The railways go from strength to strength, I see.

Can we look forward to "ess me 'andsom, the next train'll be along dreckly like" in Penzance?

Or "awch awee yer feece end haud yer wheesht ya wee sassehs, the next wee trenn ezz due enn en aboot three wee minetts" at Glasgow?
I would call that a dialect rather than an accent.

The automated station announcements that I've heard in Scotland all have what you would call accents (the one at Glasgow Central has the strongest). However, they are all perfectly understandable.

That said though, I do happen to think Phil Sayer is the best of the automated announcements.
 

All Line Rover

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Oh God no! Not regional accents! What if this extends to Glasgow!! :shock: I've had some bad experiences with Scottish bus drivers! :lol:

I'm not fussed about Phil, but he was clear. All I want is clear, understandable announcements in the Queen's English! Surely regional announcements will cost more in the long run, seeing as different announcements will need to be recorded for every region, rather than having two or three standard set of announcements across the NR network?
 

dvboy

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I really don't like the new announcer at BHM.

I say new, he's been doing non-automated announcements for a while, and is the voice of the lifts one.

I suppose of the three regulars, he's the best choice.



There was nothing wrong with Phil (though I wasn't keen on the woman, too posh).
 

crosscity

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At last a bit of variety when travelling! Accents show that you are in a different part of the country, as does looking out of the window. Most people who speak with an accent are quite capable of communicating clearly to people with a different accent or none.

Now it's official policy, how do I get NR to get Mr Digital at Crewe to announce "Crewe, Crewe Station, Crewe" with a nice Cheshire accent before each train announcement - just like the real announcer used to in the early 1970s?
 

tsr

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I'm sorry to hear Phil is no longer at this station... his voice is authoritative, clear and quite pleasant enough, in my opinion.

So... anyway... are London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent all going to get announcements in their variety of different accents, or is that a little bit too much to ask? ;)

Seriously, though, the newish auto-announcer voice at London Victoria isn't all that good in my book.
 

Mojo

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Oh dear, how 'cringe-worthy' to play such announcements.

What exactly is a 'regional' accent anyway? Despite living in Birmingham for three years up until recently, I never had cause to interact with someone with that accent.
 

sprinterguy

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Oh dear, how 'cringe-worthy' to play such announcements.

What exactly is a 'regional' accent anyway? Despite living in Birmingham for three years up until recently, I never had cause to interact with someone with that accent.
Perhaps that’s just because of the social circles you move in, Mojo ;) Although I have yet to notice if I’ve heard this “new accent” at New Street, despite passing through there twice a day, so I wouldn’t know what it sounds like compared to anyone I’ve ever met either!

What’s the reasoning behind this new initiative? Is it an attempt to gradually ease tourists and first time visitors to towns into the local lingo? For the sake of clarity, I would have much rather that the Phil Sayer announcements were retained all around the country, and in fact, installed where they aren’t already. Phil Sayers’ announcements are always clear and consistent, and as far as I am concerned he has been the voice of station announcements since British Rail days!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
So... anyway... are London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent all going to get announcements in their variety of different accents, or is that a little bit too much to ask? ;)
And of course you are going to need different accents for each of the likes of Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesborough, too :lol: They'll be virtually undistinguishable to the occasional visitor and casual traveller, but it'd have to be done to appease the locals! Lord help anyone who would dare to install an auto-announcer with a Geordie accent in Sunderland station <D
 

CC 72100

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Phil Sayers’ announcements are always clear and consistent, and as far as I am concerned he has been the voice of station announcements since British Rail days!
My view exactly! In fact, one of my first memories of trains was Phil's announcements at Birmingham New Street whilst waiting for a Virgin HST back to Cheltenham following a day trip to Carlisle.

If I had my own way Phil would do all rail announcements in the country. His voice is the clearest, and his announcements are really well stitched together - compare it with the new FGW pairing of Anne and Rodger and you'll see what I mean, these two sound so slow and disjointed, like they've used the microsoft voice on your home computer to do them!
 

34D

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Spooky - I'm reading this at the exact same time as watching 'daves one night stand' when Alan Cochran is doing a sketch about this very thing.
 

whhistle

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Policy across the board apparently, regional accents being the way forward.
... from a source you decided not to post.

If it was at a "peak" time, the auto announcers are turned off and manual are done. Some auto announcements (such as security, luggage) are kept on, but the train announcements are done by the announcers themselves.
 

londonmidland

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From another thread:
Phil Sayer has been replaced by Anne as auto announcer at Birmingham New Street since few days ago. Why Network Rail want to change this? I still prefer Phil Sayer."

If this is true, since when was Anne installed at Birmingham New Street?!
*
 

CheekyBandit

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If I had my own way Phil would do all rail announcements in the country. His voice is the clearest, and his announcements are really well stitched together
Never had any problems with his voice. A possibly important announcement in someone else's voice about a delayed EMT service at St Pancras was garbled and I had to ask staff what it was about.
 

cuccir

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As long as they're still clear and are not forced/caricatures, it makes sense having 'regional' accents on services. It would remove some of the mispronunciations that you get, and gives a sense of travelling around the country.

TPE's on board announcements on the main trans-pennine route, for example, used to be (are?) in a Yorkshire accent, which always made me smile (particularly her pronunciation of 'uddersfield) and gave a feeling of being in Yorkshire! On the other hand, their services to Barrow have this god-awful accent which gets a couple of the stations wrong eg Roose rhymes with 'choose', but on the train it rhymes with 'loose'. An easy error to make but one which could easily be lost if a clear, local voice was used (and this would hardly be a great expense either...)
 

317666

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Who remembers the one on the 350/1s which Central Trains used? "This train is for Baaaairmingham New Street."
 

dvboy

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From another thread:
Phil Sayer has been replaced by Anne as auto announcer at Birmingham New Street since few days ago. Why Network Rail want to change this? I still prefer Phil Sayer."

If this is true, since when was Anne installed at Birmingham New Street?!
*
I think there is some confusion. There have been two automated voices at BHM for quite some time - Phil and a female voice who can't pronounce Rugeley or Coseley, and says Machynlleth as though she's not sure (is this Anne?). Her platform numbers are very clear though.

There are also three actual real announcers - a woman with a Black Country accent who has been there the longest, a man who also sounds local who's voice you will also hear on recorded announcements about where the lifts are, and a younger female possibly asian voice who's voice was also recently on a recorded announcement about the entrance to the pallasades being closed overnight.

At peak times especially afternoon peak, the automated announcements have been turned off and any one of these voices may be heard.

The male of these three voices has also recorded the words and phrases for automated announcements and these have been heard in place of Phil. They are very dull in their tone and not quite as clear over all the background noise (I have heard a recording of a very long Aberystwyth/Pwllheli announcement in his voice which is clearly automated) but whether this is a test, or a permanant replacement or not I do not know. I hope not.
 

hcl

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The current female voice at Birmingham New Street is Celia Drummond.

No more Celia Drummond. Celis Drummond and Phil Sayer have been replaced since last week by Anne(Who is the current woman auto announcer at Euston and many other places) and a man who sounds local who's voice you will also hear on recorded announcements about where the lifts are (I really don't like his voice).
 

knight2004

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Oh no i prefer Phil and Celia, I don't like Anne at all, soudns to robotic, sounds like Phil will be without a job soon he's gone from many places why is Anne replacing many stations?
 

jon0844

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The railways go from strength to strength, I see.

Can we look forward to "ess me 'andsom, the next train'll be along dreckly like" in Penzance?

Or "awch awee yer feece end haud yer wheesht ya wee sassehs, the next wee trenn ezz due enn en aboot three wee minetts" at Glasgow?
Great.. Can't wait for the only announcement being 'what the f*** are you looking at you c***?' at Stevenage in a chavvy accent.
 
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trentside

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Oh no i prefer Phil and Celia, I don't like Anne at all, soudns to robotic, sounds like Phil will be without a job soon he's gone from many places why is Anne replacing many stations?
Anne is appearing in so many places as she is the standard voice for the Atos customer information system, that the majority of TOCs seem to have chosen to install - presumably because the alternative Ditra system (with Phil / Celia) is more expensive. Some TOCs using the Atos system have custom voices, for example FGW have Rodger, ATW have Ruth and FCC have Matt.

Phil and Celia can still be heard at many SWT and Southern stations, while Northern have Celia installed at a number of their stations.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
No more Celia Drummond. Celis Drummond and Phil Sayer have been replaced since last week by Anne(Who is the current woman auto announcer at Euston and many other places) and a man who sounds local who's voice you will also hear on recorded announcements about where the lifts are (I really don't like his voice).
Yes, I realised after I'd posted that Anne had invaded New Street.

For a few days the new guy was working in tandem with Celia though.
 

Rhydgaled

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I think it was Phil Sayer announcments that I grew up with (at Havant station). The female voices ATW use (one on stations, and an even worse one on-board 175s) really annoy me. I think the new information display at Fishguard & Goodwick uses yet another voice which, if possible, is even worse. If I remember rightly, that really did sound like a very basic computer text-to-speech program.

The man who does announcments in Welsh at ATW stations doesn't sound so bad, but I don't understand Welsh. I'd like to learn it, but gave up last time I tried because it was rather difficult.
 

chuckles1066

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The man who does announcments in Welsh at ATW stations doesn't sound so bad, but I don't understand Welsh. I'd like to learn it, but gave up last time I tried because it was rather difficult.
Reminds me of the (true) story a few years ago from BBC Radio Wales where, as part of the BBC's attempt to add a truly multicultural diversity to its output, they employed a native Welsh speaker to relay important news stories, weather etc to the indigenous population.

After about three months they twigged that the guy had actually spent the entire time advertising and promoting his local hardware store :lol:
 

Gwenllian2001

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Reminds me of the (true) story a few years ago from BBC Radio Wales where, as part of the BBC's attempt to add a truly multicultural diversity to its output, they employed a native Welsh speaker to relay important news stories, weather etc to the indigenous population.

After about three months they twigged that the guy had actually spent the entire time advertising and promoting his local hardware store :lol:
I don't believe a word of that. BBC Radio Wales has never carried any Welsh Language content since it was set up in 1978. All Welsh language broadcasting was transferred to BBC Radio Cymru, which went on air in 1977. In any case, the BBC in Wales has lots of Welsh speakers on the staff and any such nonsense, as you have described, wouldn't have lasted five minutes, let alone three months. Beside that, there are people out there who moniter radio programmes. I know, I did it myself for a time. What you have heard is a shaggy dog story made up, no doubt, to appeal to the self esteem monoglot English speakers.
 
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