Comedy for commuters

Today the story has broken that comedy writer Richard Preddy and comic actor Tony Robinson have teamed up with a train company to bring some humour to weary commuters. Humorous announcements will now include:

  •  ‘Welcome to Marylebone. If you’ve travelled to Londonfor a business meeting later, today’s recommended meaningless phrases are “blue sky thinking,” “moving forward,” and “low-hanging fruit”.’
  • ’For any passengers who’ve not visited London before, do please prepare yourselves for the capital’s overwhelmingly calm and relaxing pace of life.’
  • ‘You are advised that listening to loud music can annoy other passengers. Other ways to annoy them are to block the exits, push onto the train, or call everyone you meet “Denise”.’
  • “I’d like to welcome passengers boarding this 7.33 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone. If you’ve just bumped into someone who you barely know, you now have one hour and 30 minutes of awkward small talk. Good luck.”


My initial thought on reading this was that these were gems of typically British humour. However, the following are from American airlines:

  • Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights.This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
  • We are pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight.

What makes the Chiltern Railways/ UK TV Gold partnership unusual, I believe, is that it is an official one. These are not an occasional quirky announcement by a bored employee – they will be come part of the railway company’s system.

I hope it brightens many a commuter’s day. Here’s a thought, though.Do you have any suggestions for comic church announcements,or do they sit uneasily with more sombre moments?