Hawking, who speaks through a voice synthesiser having had a tracheotomy some years ago, has agreed to appear in a BT commercial due out this month.
In the TV ad, Hawking, whose book A Brief History of Time holds the record for the most weeks in the bestsellers' list, tells how some of the greatest human achievements have come about through talking - and some of the worst failures through silence.
Hawking has never been in a commercial, and his fee is a secret. Hawking will not endorse a BT product or service, but he does appear in front of a BT satellite dish - a backdrop that appears out of time for a man from the old lecture-halls of Cambridge.
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