Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Monday, November 26, 2007
"Mind the Gap" - no more
That lovely, pitch perfect, iconic British voice that reminds tens of thousands of Londoners and visitors on the Tube every day to "mind the gap" and "stand clear of the doors" has been silenced.

Emma Clarke, whose voice is almost surely more recognizable to more people worldwide than that of the US woman who tells you to "press one for English".... was recently let go by the London Underground go for her series of sardonic parody messages. She claims she was really just tired of taking herself too seriously and decided to lighten things up a little.

An example of her revised admonishments to Tube riders:
“Here we are crammed again into a sweaty Tube carriage … If you’re female, smile at the bloke next to you and make his day. He’s probably not had sex for months.”
As the NYT speculates:
So, was Ms. Clarke terminated for being too funny, or for becoming a vocal critic of the company that paid her? The answer may be one and the same, if advice on the art of comedy from a famous Irish author who spent his adult life in London offers any perspective.

“My way of joking is to tell the truth,” George Bernard Shaw, who must’ve taken at least a few rides on the tubes before he died in 1950, once said. “It’s the funniest joke in the world.”
posted by Broadsheet @ 7:51 PM  
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