Man with a robot voice finally finds his Walsall accent

A student with cerebral palsy has found a new voice with a Walsall accent after a two-year search.

Daniel Challis, who uses a communication device to speak, appealed on social media in 2022 for people with a regional accent to help.

The 20-year-old, from Aldridge, in the West Midlands, has relied on the equipment since the age of nine and said he was fed up of “sounding like a robot”.

Eli Lane was chosen by Daniel after people were asked to submit a recording of themselves reading the first page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Mr Lane, who was brought up in Walsall and is now studying drama in New York, said recording the 3,500 words that will make up Daniel’s vocabulary had been an emotional experience.

Daniel’s mother Sarah Challis said the family had been “overwhelmed” by the number of people who wanted to offer their voices after the appeal was aired on BBC Radio WM.

About 10 people contacted them, but she said her son had kept going back to Mr Lane’s voice, as he “just sounded right”.

Mr Lane spent an “intense” three weeks recording all the full range of words that will be used by Daniel and they have been uploaded to his communication device.

“I’ve never met Dan, but I was saying these things that would mean so much to him, in what would become his voice, it was quite emotional actually,” he said.

“I’ve done lots of things I’m proud of, but this is on another scale.”


Source:  BBC News


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