In the opening to one of my novels (sorry, there is no way to write that phrase in a way that doesn’t sound pretentious) the main character Holly is on the tube, musing to her boyfriend about the voice of the tube announcer.


She begins to wonder whether the owner of said voice is still alive, and if they’re not, whether their loved ones might take the tube as a way of being with them again? Getting carried away, she suggests there’s a sense in which the actor has been immortalised by Transport for London… at which point her boyfriend tells her off for being mental.


My mum also read it and suggested to me gently that this was a bit far-fetched and I should take it out. But then this happened. The gorgeous story of Margaret McCollum,who used to plan her Tube journeys so that she would hear her late husband’s voice.

It’s funny how you write things that seem ridiculous at the time, and then they go and come true! But what’s even lovelier about the story of Margaret and Oswald is that that the reason they got together in the first place was due to the allure of his dulcet tones:


‘She met Mr Laurence in 1992 on a trip to Morocco when he was working as a tour and cruise company guide. She was instantly taken by his “gorgeous voice”. They married in 2003 and were together until his death in 2007.’


How lovely. I challenge you to read the last line of this article and NOT get completely choked up. Skip to the bottom of the ‘update’ – the last line is a fiendish tear-jerker.


On a similar theme, Nat and I also have a short film called ‘The Voice’ that we wrote years ago which is about something similar. One man, a bowl of spag bol, and his SatNav…




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