Emma Clarke (born 1971) is a writer of comedy and drama scripts and an award-winning voice-over artist, best known as the voice of the automated messages on the Bakerloo and Central lines of the London Underground. Between 2009 and 2017 Clarke's voice was replaced on the District and Victoria lines by announcements voiced by Sarah Parnell, Most of Clarke's voice-over work has been used in television commercials and radio imaging outside the United Kingdom, notably in the Netherlands, Australia and the United States.
Born and raised in Sale, Greater Manchester, she started a theatre company aged 17 which specialised in business training for businesses and services organisations in both the public and private sector. On graduation she started working for BBC Light Entertainment, writing, reading and performing poetry, prose and drama. Featured mainly on BBC Radio 4, every play or sit-com written for radio has been featured on Radio 4's Pick of the Week.
After her father spotted an advert looking for voice over artists in the Sale and Altrincham Messenger, after initially failing her first interview she studied the art for two years before gaining her first paid work.
In 1998, she was approached by a media company representing one of the three companies that operated parts of the London Underground, who were looking for a replacement automated customer announcer. After an 18-month period, where her voice in focus-group testing was dubbed "Marilyn", in 1999 she was awarded a contract to produce customer announcements. In 2007, she achieved widespread public attention when, as a result of adding spoof announcements – cleared by London Underground – to her website, she attracted the attention of a Mail on Sunday newspaper reporter who interviewed her and published an article which denigrated her employer. Despite rumours circulating that she had been dismissed from service, London Underground continues to record and use her voice.
Her other clients include the BBC, Gillette, Virgin, Classic FM, Homebase and "3" mobile phones. Along with her solo work, she works through, and is the managing director of, Just Add Voice, a company which provides voice-over tracks.
- Mind the gap
- Carolyn Hopkins, the voice behind several major transportation systems around the world including the New York City Subway, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport
- "Lunchworks with Emma Clarke". dovetailtogether.co.uk. 18 January 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Phillips, Rhodri (24 November 2007). "What Emma, outspoken 'Voice of the Underground', really thinks of Tube travellers". Daily Mail. London.
- "Voice talent biography: Emma Clarke". Just Add Voice. 2003. Archived from the original on 2004-02-27.
- Lowe, Felix (26 November 2007). "End of the line for Tube voiceover woman". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
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