Meet the Voice of the New York City Subway System

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If you live in New York City, chances are, you hear his voice every day: “Stand clear of the closing doors, please,” he commands the 8.5 million daily MTA customers. He also breaks bad news of delays. But few know much about the human man behind these sonorous announcements. In a short documentary by filmmaker Andrew David Watson for The New Yorker, his secret identity is revealed: the voice belongs to one Charlie Pellet, a Bloomberg radio anchor who’s secretly British. 

Pellet grew up in London, but after moving across the pond and being teased for his accent, he learned to disguise it by listening to American radio. When the MTA released new trains in 1999, he volunteered his elocution talents to record announcements that commuters could actually understand. In the video, it’s strange to watch these announcements come out of Pellet’s mouth instead of a loudspeaker. “I mean it in a nice way,” Pellet says. “I literally share your pain, because I’m probably stuck on that same train wondering, Am I gonna get to work on time?”

[via The New Yorker]

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1 COMMENT

  1. I wish he would record messages for the motormen in that smug monotone of his. “Please do NOT close doors in customers’ faces when they are trying to ENTER the train.”

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