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Brian Blessed lends his tongue to TomTom

Drive, my Hawkmen, Drive...

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Brian Blessed will become the new sound of satnav this October after a Facebook group of 25,000 showed support.

With no current TomTom voices similar to the actor's famous boom, Mancunian motorist Richard Gardner started the unwieldily-named Facebook group, Campaign to get Brian Blessed to do a voice-over for my sat nav, claiming such equipment should be directing us with "gleeful beardiness".

Launched in April 2008, Richard promptly forgot about it, returning in February 2010 to find 450 members. He spread the word and within weeks, the group grew to several thousand.

Richard then contacted TomTom, which said it would negotiate with Brian Blessed if the group reached 25,000 supporters. So Richard approached the larger than life actor, who agreed to film a campaign video and lend his voice.

Now, with the group in excess of 25,800 members, TomTom has confirmed Brian's voice will be used in satnavs from October.

Blessed, most famous for his role as Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen in Flash Gordon, joins the list of celebrity TomTom voices which include Homer Simpson, John Cleese, Snoop Dogg, Billy Connolly and Darth Vader.

Gardner believes this is the first time a product has been created through Facebook, adding that rather than using a social network for selling us stuff, companies should be using it to ask what we want to buy.

Brian meanwhile is "thrilled to bits".

Customers can send suggestions for other voices they'd like to hear on their sat nav through TomTom's Twitter page. Nothing makes your opinion heard more than a Facebook group of 25,000 though, well done Richard. Now drive my Hawkmen, drive. ®

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