Wed, Nov 28, 2007 - Page 6 News List

Voice of London's Tube sacked for criticizing service

AFP AND AP , LONDON

The woman known as "the voice of the Tube" on London's underground has been sacked after criticizing the network and making spoof announcements, including making fun of US tourists, officials said on Monday.

Emma Clarke has for the last eight years been famous as the voice warning travellers to "Mind the Gap" between the train and the platform, and to "stand clear of the closing doors." She also reads off the trains' stops, tells Londoners how long they have to wait until their next ride and delivers service updates.

But the 36-year-old voice-over artist, annoyed her employers with a series of spoof announcements posted on her own Web site (www.emmaclarke.com).

In one she says: "We would like to remind our American tourist friends that you are almost certainly talking too loudly."

In another she announces that the passenger pretending to read a paper but actually staring at a woman's chest should stop, since he was "not fooling anyone, you filthy pervert."

Transport for London, the agency responsible for running the subway, said on Monday that Clarke was fired for telling the Mail on Sunday that she tried to avoid using the Tube.

"The thought of being stuck in the Tube with strangers for minutes on end and having to listen to endless repeated messages of my own voice fills me with horror," she was quoted as telling the paper.

She said using the service every day had been "dreadful."

A London Underground spokesman said the problem was the criticism rather than the spoofs.

"Some of the spoof announcements are very funny. But Emma is a bit silly to go round slagging off her client's services," he said.

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