Dan finds his voice in China

Dan Barber, 20 and  Alex Farquharson
Dan Barber, 20 and Alex Farquharson

A Ponteland student is on track for an unusual claim to fame in China.

For mechanical engineering student Dan Barber is set to become the voice of the new Ningbo Metro system.

The 20-year-old is on a year-long exchange programme at the University of Nottingham’s campus in the city of Ningbo on China’s eastern coast.

The Ningbo City Rail Transportation Group will open the new underground system this month and approached the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) to help find the voices for the English language announcements that will be played on trains and in stations.

More than 50 students submitted test recordings and Mr Barber was chosen from six finalists to record the announcements alongside fellow student Alex Farquharson. Now the Ningbo Metro management will decide whether they will be used.

Mr Barber said: “It’s the first time I’ve ever done something like this and it’s been a real honour to be chosen.

“I’m pleased to be potentially leaving a small mark on Ningbo during my year here, although because I return to the UK in the summer, I’m glad I won’t have to hear my voice on the train every day if I’m chosen.”

Ben Jiang, from the city’s planning department, said Mr Barber had a natural, authoritative voice that was easy to understand for non-native English speakers.