Bus stop chats to passengers

Hearing is believing: 'Talking shelter' is advertising gimmick for science fiction TV channel
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The Independent Online
CLARE GARNER

You don't get any say in the matter. Here is a man who will speak to you whether you like it or not and, what's worse, he appears to be stark naked.

Would-be passengers waiting for their bus are subjected to this bus- stop bore's booming, six-minute monologue. "Don't these dash buses stop when a chap puts his arm out? Not if you're invisible, I guess."

Without further ado the tape of an actor mimicking the voice of David McCallum, The Invisible Man from the Seventies television series makes his excuses. "Anyway it's too cold to stand around chatting all day." Thank God for that.

A menacing laugh brings the "conversation" to an end, but if you're unlucky enough to be still waiting for your bus you have to suffer it all again.

The recording is the latest gimmick dreamt up by the bus shelter advertising company, Adshel, to promote Sci-fi TV, a new satellite and cable channel, from shelters in cities across Britain.

People waiting to catch the number 52 bus from a shelter in London's Knightsbridge yesterday were unimpressed with the publicity for "television from the other side".

"It's bad enough waiting for a bus without the bus stop talking to you," said Janet Concoran, 51, from Ealing, west London. "If it told you the times of buses that would be a bit better ... I think it's probably going to get kicked in."

Another agreed. "It makes me very annoyed. I don't like to be disturbed when I'm waiting for a bus."

Chris Berry, Adshel sales director, said: "I hope that we'll be able to provide passengers with a little light entertainment during their wait for the next bus."

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