End of the line for the voice of London's Tube
The woman known as the 'voice of the Tube' in London has had her contract terminated for criticising the underground rail service.
But the city's commuters are apparently siding with Emma Clarke, whose website, which hosted the criticism as well as a number of spoof announcements, has crashed due to heavy traffic.
'Thanks for stopping by,' a message on the site reads. 'Unfortunately my site is currently overwhelmed by the sheer number of people wanting to download Mp3s of my spoof announcements. Please check back in a day or so.'
Ms Clarke had become famous over the past eight years as the voice warning travellers to 'Mind the Gap' between the train and the platform and to 'stand clear of the closing doors'.
But the 36-year-old, a professional voice-over artist, annoyed her employers by saying on her website that she no longer uses the Tube because she thinks the service is 'dreadful'.
Her site also features a series of light-hearted spoof announcements. 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'.
Ms Clarke told the Daily Telegraph she was surprised by the decision to sack her. 'I don't feel that I have been slagging them off - that was never my intention. It was just a bit of a laugh,' she said.
A London Underground spokesman stressed that the problem was with 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.
He added cheekily that 'London Underground is sorry to have to announce that further contracts for Ms Clarke are experiencing severe delays'.