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Roger Ebert speaks today on Oprah

It seems you can’t wander far online these days without bumping into an eloquent and deeply moving tribute to Roger Ebert, but now the time has finally come for the man to speak for himself. The legendary movie critic and all-around mensch will appear today on The Oprah Winfrey Show to give his Oscar predictions, and he’ll be using his own voice—or at least the closest approximation of his voice via a computer keyboard that cutting edge technology will allow. Ebert taped the show Friday, the same day he posted a blog about the experience and how his voice was electronically reconstructed from old DVD commentary tracks he had recorded before a cancer-related surgery by a Scottish company called CereProc.

“CereProc is now blending in my audio snippets for Casablanca where I sound enthusiastic, and Floating Weeds, where I sound calm and respectful,” Ebert writes. “It's nice to think of all these great movies sloshing around and coming out as my voice.”

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Reflecting on his Oprah experience, Ebert says that his new voice “needs to be smoother in tone and steadier in pacing, but the little rascal is good. To hear him coming from my own computer made me ridiculously happy.” Man, just writing about this makes us want to well up. Check your local listings for when the show airs in your area.

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