Blackadder star helps staff learn train announcements

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wintonian

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Blackadder star Tony Robinson has helped coach rail staff to deliver new "comedy" announcements.

Written by Richard Preddy, who wrote the sitcom Green Wing, the announcements aim to make the Birmingham to London journey enjoyable.

In one, passengers listening to "noisy iPods" will be advised to get a better taste in music.

Robinson, who played Baldrick, spent a month helping Chiltern Railways staff learn the lines.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote

It's important to note that we aren't trying to turn everyone into a comedian”

Richard Preddy

The announcements will also be heard at London Marylebone Station.
'Racing Underground trains'

Preddy said: "We have all waited for a train or a bus into work as the rain pours down and bustled our way to a seat and I think comedy can help to alleviate that stress.

"Everyone we met was so enthusiastic and the feedback so far has been fantastic.

"It's important to note that we aren't trying to turn everyone into a comedian.

"Rather we are hoping to bring out a little more of the staff's personality and humour via their day-to-day announcements and help cheer up the commuters along the way."

The announcements passengers will hear include:

"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."
"For any passengers who've not visited London before, do please prepare yourselves for the capital's overwhelmingly calm and relaxing pace of life."
"We will shortly be passing through West Ruislip where we will be racing the Underground trains. Do please feel free to cheer for our driver."
"Will any passengers listening to noisy iPods please get a better taste in music. Thank you."

Auntie Beeb


Goodnight. :)
 
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deltic1989

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"Will any passengers listening to noisy iPods please get a better taste in music. Thank you."

Am I the only one that thinks that this could be taken as an insult?
 

bignosemac

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Seems like this cunning plan from Chiltern is of the same standard as those dreamed up by Mr S. Baldrick.
 

Maxfly

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Am I the only one that thinks that this could be taken as an insult?

To be honest I don't see why anyone would be insulted by that unless they are overly sensitive about their music tastes??

Sounds like a good idea in theory tbh but as everything comedic is, it will all be in the delivery and I am sure I remember a thread somewhere about 'funny guard announcments' where posters seemed to enjoy the funny commment made by guards, so am pretty sure that is the point of it.

Value for money, whether they are funny etc on the other hand will be hard to judge untill heard in person and the effect is suitably judged:)
 

AlterEgo

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This is absolutely cringeworthy.

What's the point? They hired Baldrick to make their staff funnier...the mind boggles!
 

Squaddie

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This is exactly what Britain's rail passengers need - even more announcements. I guess they feel they have to find something to fill the awkward silences between the list of stations the train will be stopping at, the list of items on the menu in the buffet and the list of places you can get to by changing at the next station.
 

Tracked

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Just looking at the article it makes it appear that they will be replacing one lot of scripted announcements with another set of comedy scripted announcements, so quite how it's bringing out the staffs own personality I'm not sure.

I think after a while the amusement will wear off, currently any joking guard announcement is a bit of refreshment from the standard announcement, what happens when all of them are at it?

I've not used Chiltern that often, but my main memory is that the seats on their units were awfully uncomfortable, perhaps the money would've been better spent on sorting that.
 

Schnellzug

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Oh dear, scripted attempts at "humour" make me feel overwhelmingly depressed. I don't know why they'd need to anyway; as we know from other threads, there's no shortage of guards and staff who are natural comedians anyway.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This is exactly what Britain's rail passengers need - even more announcements. I guess they feel they have to find something to fill the awkward silences between the list of stations the train will be stopping at, the list of items on the menu in the buffet and the list of places you can get to by changing at the next station.

if only they were just about that; at least that's something useful. What isn't really necessary is to be told that Smoking is Not Permitted, or you Must Buy a Ticket before boarding One of our Trains. :|
 

CC 72100

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I like funny announcements, but this is not how to do it. The whole idea is that they are spontaneous, that the guard does it on the spot, not reads aloud from some script. I mean how awkward would it be if the guard does his funny announcement, noly for most of the train to think "God this is the 3rd time I've heard it this week and it's not getting any funnier".

Guards have a bit of personality and do the occasional humourous announcement: Yes!
Guards 'taught' a list of funny announcements that they use again and again: No!
 

Failed Unit

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It is odd they use Blackadder - when was the last Blackadder filmed? There are going to be many people that are thinking what is Blackadder? Tony Robinson has done many more things since Blackadder...
 

krisk

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I see what they are trying to do but after hearing it over and over it stops being funny. The best announcements are those done naturally whereby you feel the person making them is talking to you informally and pleasantly instead of reading off a list of rules and regulations.
 

asylumxl

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"Welcome aboard this Virgin Trains service to London Euston. Customers please note that we operate a non-cringeworthy announcement policy on both our trains and our stations ..."
 

Clip

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It is odd they use Blackadder - when was the last Blackadder filmed? There are going to be many people that are thinking what is Blackadder? Tony Robinson has done many more things since Blackadder...

Its Tony Robinson they are using, he played Baldrick.

Its an odd thing to do - though I can see whythey would want to do so. .But they really should have kept it quiet to be more of a surprise to their passengers rather then people waiting to hear the announcements and then cringing.
 

Flamingo

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It is odd they use Blackadder - when was the last Blackadder filmed? There are going to be many people that are thinking what is Blackadder? Tony Robinson has done many more things since Blackadder...

Blackadder star Tony Robinson, best known for playing the scruffy idiot sidekick in Time Team... :lol::lol::lol:
 

CaptainHaddock

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If they must have guards doing announcements in the style of a comedy character, wouldn't Victor Meldrew be a better option than Baldrick?
 
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All we punters want is nice clear factual announcements. What we don't want is the repition of lines written by a one time small (and he is small!) screen actor who's an Islington champagne socialist. If Chiltern are going to go down the actor route then they should give thought to pre-recorded announcements using someone with a "voice" such as Kenneth Branagh.
 

Nym

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If they must have guards doing announcements in the style of a comedy character, wouldn't Victor Meldrew be a better option than Baldrick?

"I don't believe it! We're now arriving into Birmingham New Street on time..."

All we punters want is nice clear factual announcements. What we don't want is the repition of lines written by a one time small (and he is small!) screen actor who's an Islington champagne socialist. If Chiltern are going to go down the actor route then they should give thought to pre-recorded announcements using someone with a "voice" such as Kenneth Branagh.

Naa, if you wanted actor recorded announcements, go for...

Warning, Strong Language...

[youtube]NacppJ_vWQg[/youtube]
 

All Line Rover

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I like funny announcements, but this is not how to do it. The whole idea is that they are spontaneous, that the guard does it on the spot, not reads aloud from some script. I mean how awkward would it be if the guard does his funny announcement, noly for most of the train to think "God this is the 3rd time I've heard it this week and it's not getting any funnier".

Guards have a bit of personality and do the occasional humourous announcement: Yes!
Guards 'taught' a list of funny announcements that they use again and again: No!

I couldn't agree more. I enjoy it when a guard cracks his own jokes, but to force all of the guards to read from a script ruins it.
 

GB

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"Will any passengers listening to noisy iPods please get a better taste in music. Thank you."

That only (barely) works if you are singling someone out.
 

Failed Unit

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I have a cunning plan - if we don't put a 50p in the meter at Birmingham then London Midland and Virgin won't be able to run and we get world domination.
 

Blindtraveler

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oh dear.
This may qualify for the Worst decision made by a TOC Thread too!

I enjoy a giggle when on the move but not like this.
Off the cuff is better e.g.
As announced by a guard on Northern last week

Train now arriving Wakefield Kirkgate, if leaving hear take everything with you and good luck :)

that said though, he may have been told to say that!
 
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