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Brian Blessed to voice driving directions for TomTom

Facebook campaign wins 25,000 supporters

Satnav owners will be able to enjoy driving directions from Brian Blessed after a Facebook campaign gained thousands of members.

Richard Gardner from Manchester started the campaign to get the Yorkshire-born actor to voice driving directions in April 2008. After initially attracting a handful of members, the campaign started to gain momentum earlier this year, and subsequently won more than 25,000 supporters. Gardener then contacted TomTom who agreed to approach Blessed about lending his voice for use on satnavs.

Blessed, who is well known for his role as Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen in the film Flash Gordon, agreed to take part.

"Companies have been spending so much time and money trying to work out how to use Social Media to sell us stuff, I wondered whether it was time they started thinking about using it to ask us what we'd like to buy?," said Gardner.

Damian Woodward from TomTom said voices are becoming an ever more popular personalisation tool for sat navs.

"It's been an interesting journey watching this particular campaign take shape. It shows the power of social media, and if we can bring shouty happiness to over 25,000 people who are we to deny it?"

Brian Blessed's voice will be available to download in October. TomTom users can suggest the voices they'd like to hear giving driving directions on TomTom's Twitter page.

See also: TomTom offers drivers the voice of Darth Vader

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