- Associated Press - Friday, January 28, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - Roger Ebert has enlisted some high-powered stand-ins to do voice-overs for his new TV show while finishing touches are made to his customized electronic voice.

Famed director Werner Herzog’s German-accented voice read the script for a review of the film “My Dog Tulip” while Ebert typed during the show’s debut Jan. 21 episode. On Friday, it would be famed newsman Bill Kurtis’ voice filling in.

Ebert said in an e-mail to the Associated Press that he doesn’t know yet who will be future voice-over guests.

CereProc, a Scottish firm, is creating a digitized version of Ebert’s voice using vast recordings from his past TV shows.

Ebert is also using a chin prosthesis for the new show, “Ebert Presents at the Movies.” It features co-hosts Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of Mubi.com. Ebert does his own reviews in a separate segment.

Ebert says there’s no chance he’ll undergo another attempt to rebuild his jaw, damaged in cancer treatment and surgery.

“Never! I’m beyond reconstruction and that’s that,” the 68-year-old critic wrote.

He has cancer checks every six months or so, and said his health is “excellent.”

“So far I seem to be cancer free,” he wrote.

While some have called Ebert a brave inspiration, he said bravery and courage “have little to do with it.”

“You play the cards you’re dealt,” Ebert wrote. “What’s your choice? I have no pain, I enjoy life, and why should I complain?”

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