I’m here to protest on behalf of all the automata at the Morrisons checkouts. And no, I’m not referring to Chantelle on lane 6 - although word is that she has more silicon in her mammary banks than an army of iPads.
Some bright spark - I’m assuming it was an outside consultant rather than any of Bradford’s finest - has decided the one thing the harassed tripe shopper needs this Yuletide is a “friendly” voice pointing out that they have got their “tinsel in a tangle” whenever one of their offspring tries to nick change out of the coin chute. So I and all my digital brethren are to become “Festive Fred”.
Frankly, they’d do better to reprogram us to inform Doreen Arkwright & co (in a festive and very loud voice, of course) that their Match & More cards weren’t worth a piddle in Poundland, or perhaps that they had unaccountably failed to scan that bottle of M Signature Irish Cream (it’s hidden under little Seth’s pushchair, Doreen).
But no, we are to be given the voice of some third-rate amdram artiste whose only previous engagement was as David Potts’ charisma coach (admittedly a full-time engagement). To make matters worse, the phrases we will regurgitate have been scripted by a combination of Morrisons’ PR team - last seen being skewered in prime time by Huge Furry Halfwhittingstall - and someone called Lyz (what else?) from the British Academy of Sound Therapy (what else?).
According to Lyz, the very jolliest voice in Britain belongs to Slade’s cartoon Brummie Noddy Holder. He was in the other day, buying some neckwear for a 1970s-themed Christmas party. “Kipper Tie” my voicebox droned. “Lovely - two sugars please,” he replied. Assistance required! Ancient joke in bagging area!