The ArgusSpeaking clock actor Brian Cobby dies aged 83 (From The Argus)

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Speaking clock actor Brian Cobby dies aged 83

The Argus: Speaking clock actor Brian Cobby dies aged 83 Speaking clock actor Brian Cobby dies aged 83

Actor Brian Cobby, who was the voice of the speaking clock for 22 years, has died. 

Brian, 83, who was the famous voice of “the time sponsored by Accurist” died peacefully on Wednesday following a series of health problems.

Clive Cobby said that his brother’s dying wish had been to make sure his death was reported in The Argus.

Paying tribute to his brother, Clive said: “He was a man of the world, who loved life and lived it to the full. “He was larger than life.

“He never married and some people assumed he was alone, but he had a large family and was very popular.

“In every sense, he was an actor. He was very outgoing.”

Brian, who lived in Vernon Gardens, had a very successful career prior to becoming the speaking clock from 1984 to 2007.

In the sixties, Brian was known as “The Voice” as one of the nation’s best known voiceover artists – launching a thousand soapflakes, prescribing every headache cure known to man and convincing the country they couldn’t tell the difference between Stork and butter.

He also appeared alongside Madonna in the film Evita. Consummate professional Brian took just one hour to record the 86 words that make up the speaking clock’s 8,640 daily announcements.

Brian’s voice was heard to say “on the third stroke” an estimated 2 billion times and his most famous role saw him regularly stopped in the street and asked the time. 

Following a kidney transplant 15 years ago and a heart attack last year, his health had been deteriorating and he died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

In the last few months of his life the two brothers had been prepar- ing for the end.

Clive is still putting the finishing touches to the send off his brother had asked for – and the funeral will include a show reel of his most famous recordings and the famous words he voiced “Five, four, three, two, one, Thunderbirds are go.”

Clive said: “He had been very clear on his wishes. “The one thing he wanted more than anything was for The Argus to know.

“He said to me in his way as an actor ‘make sure The Argus know’.”

Comments (16)

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10:29am Sun 4 Nov 12

plantwoman says...

What a shame, I certainly remember his voice - a blast from the past. I had no idea he did the Thunderbirds thing - another reminder of my childhood - thanks Brian and RIP!
What a shame, I certainly remember his voice - a blast from the past. I had no idea he did the Thunderbirds thing - another reminder of my childhood - thanks Brian and RIP! plantwoman
  • Score: 0

11:04am Sun 4 Nov 12

John Steed says...

I hope that after the funeral the family will put the recording up on youtube
I hope that after the funeral the family will put the recording up on youtube John Steed
  • Score: 0

11:15am Sun 4 Nov 12

Lady Smith says...

Obviously, the Argus staff are so overcome, they think Clive's dead too...
'Clive, who lived in Vernon Gardens, had a very successful career prior to becoming the speaking clock from 1984 to 2007.'
Obviously, the Argus staff are so overcome, they think Clive's dead too... 'Clive, who lived in Vernon Gardens, had a very successful career prior to becoming the speaking clock from 1984 to 2007.' Lady Smith
  • Score: 0

11:39am Sun 4 Nov 12

MuammarQaddafi says...

I should love to see a recording of his "greatest hits" made available for fans and nostalgia addicts.
I should love to see a recording of his "greatest hits" made available for fans and nostalgia addicts. MuammarQaddafi
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Surely not! says...

I think Thribb should pen some lines
I think Thribb should pen some lines Surely not!
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Sun 4 Nov 12

CivicMan says...

I met him a couple of times, and he was the perfect English gentleman - RIP Brian, you've clocked off for the final time.
I met him a couple of times, and he was the perfect English gentleman - RIP Brian, you've clocked off for the final time. CivicMan
  • Score: 0

12:10pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Musicmanxxxx says...

Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted..

"Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke"
Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted.. "Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke" Musicmanxxxx
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Sun 4 Nov 12

plantwoman says...

Musicmanxxxx wrote:
Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted.. "Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke"
Not funny.
[quote][p][bold]Musicmanxxxx[/bold] wrote: Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted.. "Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke"[/p][/quote]Not funny. plantwoman
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Roger Francais says...

plantwoman wrote:
Musicmanxxxx wrote:
Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted.. "Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke"
Not funny.
Speak for yourself love...

we think it was.

Rest in peace Brian - from Mike and Co!
[quote][p][bold]plantwoman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Musicmanxxxx[/bold] wrote: Steven Grant (THE Steven Grant) tweeted.. "Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke Please tell me it wasn't after his 3rd stroke"[/p][/quote]Not funny.[/p][/quote]Speak for yourself love... we think it was. Rest in peace Brian - from Mike and Co! Roger Francais
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Sun 4 Nov 12

spencer1973 says...

Maybe he choked eating a corn on the Cobby !.......ba boom tisch
Maybe he choked eating a corn on the Cobby !.......ba boom tisch spencer1973
  • Score: 0

7:10pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Poccypoc says...

I worked with Brian at BT in the mid 1980s and this a great shame. He was a real gent. RIP and thoughts to the family.
I worked with Brian at BT in the mid 1980s and this a great shame. He was a real gent. RIP and thoughts to the family. Poccypoc
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Sun 4 Nov 12

Tammy Flugh says...

Surely not! wrote:
I think Thribb should pen some lines
So, Farewell then,
Brian Cobby,
The speaking clock from 1984 to 2007.
Now,
Your time has come.
[quote][p][bold]Surely not![/bold] wrote: I think Thribb should pen some lines[/p][/quote]So, Farewell then, Brian Cobby, The speaking clock from 1984 to 2007. Now, Your time has come. Tammy Flugh
  • Score: 0

11:24pm Sun 4 Nov 12

KateMurrayRex says...

Only met him the once, but such a lovely man with so many interesting things to tell one about. Condolences to Clive and family. He will be much missed I'm sure.
Only met him the once, but such a lovely man with so many interesting things to tell one about. Condolences to Clive and family. He will be much missed I'm sure. KateMurrayRex
  • Score: 0

10:47am Mon 5 Nov 12

Cash Bull says...

His time was up. RIP
His time was up. RIP Cash Bull
  • Score: 0

10:28pm Wed 7 Nov 12

gnarlychaos says...

spencer1973 wrote:
Maybe he choked eating a corn on the Cobby !.......ba boom tisch
No it was at the third stroke
[quote][p][bold]spencer1973[/bold] wrote: Maybe he choked eating a corn on the Cobby !.......ba boom tisch[/p][/quote]No it was at the third stroke gnarlychaos
  • Score: 0

8:54pm Fri 23 Nov 12

warren52 says...

When Brian had his kidney transplant in 1991, my wife was the recipient of the other donor kidney, so I got to know Brian a little during the time he was in hospital. He was a very amusing man and used to send me to get him his favourite snack of cheese slices and cherry tomatoes from Marks & Spencer.
Sadly, my wife also died this year which I find a tragic coincidence . I only learned of Brian's death when reading this week's Private Eye (God Bless EJ Thribb).
I would love to hear from Clive or any other relative of Brian and hope that the Argus can put us in touch.
When Brian had his kidney transplant in 1991, my wife was the recipient of the other donor kidney, so I got to know Brian a little during the time he was in hospital. He was a very amusing man and used to send me to get him his favourite snack of cheese slices and cherry tomatoes from Marks & Spencer. Sadly, my wife also died this year which I find a tragic coincidence . I only learned of Brian's death when reading this week's Private Eye (God Bless EJ Thribb). I would love to hear from Clive or any other relative of Brian and hope that the Argus can put us in touch. warren52
  • Score: 0

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