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31st Jan 2022

Charlie Bird reveals he’s planning to clone his voice as speech deteriorates

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Not all is lost.

Charlie Bird has revealed that he is set to have his voice cloned after it has begun to deteriorate following his Motor Neurone Disease diagnosis.

The former RTÉ journalist was diagnosed with the illness last year and it has since started to have an effect on his speech.

It has now gotten to a point where his own dog Tiger doesn’t recognise his voice, but thanks to modern technology, it won’t be like this for much longer.

In the coming days, Charlie is being given access to software that can replicate his voice and can help him continue to speak they way he is used to.

The 72 year old took to Twitter to thank Keith Davey from Marino Software who is helping him use this new technology to get his voice back, and Charlie hoped that others in his position would be able to avail of this.

He said: “Hi, I’m Charlie Bird. Last October, I was diagnosed with the terminal illness Motor Neurone Disease.”

The veteran broadcaster then played a sample of the cloned voice, giving an insight into his Climb with Charlie event in April.

He continued: “A few weeks later in an interview with Ryan on the Late Late Show, he asked what my bucket list is and I said I wanted to climb Croagh Patrick with some of my best pals.

“Within minutes, social media went mad offering to support me and that’s how was born.

“In this very difficult chapter of my life, I want people to reach out the hand of friendship to one another.

“Every day people across this country are battling with their own mountains, with physical and mental issues. So, on Saturday April 2, I will climb Croagh Patrick in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House, two charities close to my heart.

“Aside from raising essential funds, I want this campaign to encourage people across Ireland to climb a mountain in their own local area to raise funds and also to recognise the physical and mental mountains many people have to climb every single day.

“All money raised will be divided evenly between the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and Pieta House, so please climb, climb, climb and reach out the hand of friendship.

“Thanks and stay safe.”