If you are trying to get through to a local business and instead get the dreaded recorded voice message, chances are that the voice belongs to local man Aaron Watson.
From TV and radio voiceover stalwart to a more recent move into business voice recording artist, the Co Down man's distinct tones will be familiar to many thousands in Northern Ireland.
Now Aaron is making himself seen as well as heard as he leads a local campaign to help raise awareness of testicular cancer.
The 40-year-old Bangor grandfather and father-of-three is ambassador for an aptly-named new campaign called 'Talking Balls', launched by the Friends of the Cancer Centre to encourage men to get into the habit of checking their testicles every month.
With many events to promote the campaign cancelled during lockdown, Aaron is using social media to get his message across, recently shaving his head online to raise funds for the charity.
Aaron is a cancer survivor. He was just 22 and expecting his first son when he was given the shock diagnosis that he had testicular cancer.
Eighteen years later he wants to show his gratitude by doing all that he can to raise awareness of the symptoms of testicular cancer which affects around 2,500 men every year in the UK and has a 95% survival rate if caught early.
Aaron's own diagnosis came about by pure chance. "I had a lot of pain in my stomach but I knew it was coming from my testicle," he explains. "I had it for a few months and then one night it was so horrendous I was bent double with it.
"I decided to go to my GP who found a lump on my left testicle which he thought was a cyst. I asked if I could be referred for a scan, which I got six weeks later. It never entered my mind that I could have cancer."
At his scan appointment in Belfast City Hospital it was discovered that the excruciating pain he had been suffering was in fact being caused by a varicose vein in his left testicle. However, a chance scan of his right testicle revealed a tiny cancerous lump.
He was admitted to hospital immediately and the next day underwent surgery to have his right testicle removed.
"The doctor just decided that he might as well scan the other testicle and I was very lucky that he did as he found a very small lump," says Aaron.
"It was so tiny you couldn't even feel it and I might not have known it was there until maybe it was too late.
"I was sent with a letter direct to the cancer ward in the City Hospital where I was admitted straight away.
"I was told that I could have the lump removed or my testicle removed. The doctor explained that if I just had the lump removed there was a higher chance of the cancer coming back so I told them to take the testicle."
As well as the physical diagnosis, Aaron had to deal with the emotional fall-out - all the more difficult, he says, because he was just in his early 20s and immediately feared the worst.
"I was devastated," he explains. "I was only 22 and that night when my family went home I lay in bed and cried my eyes out.
"I did think I was going to die. Back then cancer did feel like a death sentence. My partner, Justine, was four months pregnant with our first son and my world had just been turned upside down."
Happily, his fears proved unfounded. Aaron had some follow-up scans and tests and hasn't looked back since he came through surgery.
A year ago, however, he was overcome with the need to find the oncologist Dr Seamus McAleer who treated him and thank him personally.
Convinced he had retired, Aaron put out a call on social media for help in tracing him and within half an hour was in contact with the man he credits with saving his life.
After meeting Dr McAleer for a coffee and to express his gratitude in person, Aaron contacted Friends of the Cancer Centre to see how he could support them in raising awareness of testicular cancer.
"Even though I was only 22, I was very aware at the time of the brilliant job that the doctors and the nurses in the City Hospital cancer centre are doing.
"Dr McAleer and his team were incredible and I never got the chance to say thank you to him.
"I couldn't believe that when I contacted him, he remembered me and we had a lovely meeting and a chat over coffee.
"I came away thinking that there had to be much more I could do to give back. I got in touch with Friends of the Cancer Centre and they were planning their new campaign and everything just knitted together so well."
Aaron, who has two teenage sons and a stepdaughter in her 20s as well as a four-year-old grandson, works from a studio at his Bangor home.
Over the past 11 years he has become a go-to voiceover artist for advertising campaigns on TV and radio.
His career in the industry started after working as an extra for local film productions in his late 20s, including playing a soldier in Game of Thrones.
"I was working as a window cleaner and trying to get work as an extra and did two weeks in a row of night shift as a soldier on Game of Thrones," he says.
"It is not as glamorous as it might sound as it involved a lot of standing around in the cold and wet, although it was a good experience to do it.
"While working as an extra someone suggested that I had a good voice for doing voiceover work.
"I started to look into it, visited a few studios and did some research. Then 11 years ago I did my first ad for Cool FM and learnt from there.
"It wasn't ever something I set out to do, but as a child I remember I always would have pretended to be a radio presenter.
"It has now become a great passion and something I really enjoy. In fact, I get so much pleasure from doing it that it is difficult for me to call it a job."
From doing major advertising campaigns for UTV and local radio, Aaron spotted a new niche market in voice recordings for business, an area of his work which has proven particularly busy during lockdown.
He laughs as he admits: "Yes, I am the voice that people curse when they go on the phone and hear it. Lots of businesses are very busy and need the service of a recorded message.
"During the current crisis many businesses have needed messages recorded so that they can let their customers know what is happening and when they hope to open again.
"Then there is a requirement to give out information about the virus and I have done recordings like that for local hospitals," he adds.
Demand became so high that Aaron has set up his own company, Jahn Media, specialising in professional voice messages for business. He sees it as another essential strand in company identity.
He explains: "I noticed a lot of businesses were getting a staff member to record a message and you could hear phones ringing and other sounds in the background.
"I record in a soundproof studio with licensed music playing which makes it very professional.
"If you go into any business you will see branding everywhere and quite often the businesses won't have a sound linked to their brand. I think more than ever now it is good to have the identity of a sound as well."
Since lockdown Aaron has been using his social media platforms - he is very active on LinkedIn - to promote positive messages to help keep people's spirits up.
He continues to promote awareness of testicular cancer and has been encouraged by the many messages he receives from men who have got checked out as a result of the campaign.
"I have been posting every day about my journey in lockdown and it is simple things like growing vegetables, running 5km or just making use of the garden in the good weather," he says.
"It is a time when it would be easy to mope about but I try to keep positive. I think when you have had cancer and thought you were going to die, you do have a better appreciation of life.
"I know so many people are struggling with lockdown but I really believe if you try to stay positive there is always light at the end of the tunnel."
Aaron adds: "I am over the moon that Friends of the Cancer Centre has given me the opportunity to create awareness through its campaign and people are getting the message.
"We have just done a promotion on radio and TV and, together with social media, we have reached hundreds of thousands of people."
Friends of the Cancer Centre has produced a self-check card with a step-by-step guide on how men can check their testicles. The card was produced with the expert advice of the charity's testicular cancer clinical nurse specialist, Melanie McNally, who is the only nurse of her kind in Northern Ireland. You can order a card and get your very own 'Talking Balls' stress ball, to remind you to check every month at www.friendsofthecancercentre.com
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts