Reuters/Andrew Winning

Phil Sayer, best known for his announcements in the London subway and the U.K.’s railway, has died at age 62.

For years, Phil Sayer reminded Londoners to “mind the gap” between the train and the platform and to “stand clear of the doors.” His announcements helped millions of passengers navigate the various train routes in the U.K. He told them which trains offer drinks and light refreshments. And when there were weather delays, he apologized for the inconvenience.

But Londoners won’t get to hear Sayer’s voice anymore. His wife, Elinore Hamilton, announced Friday that Sayer has died. He was 62 and had esophageal cancer. “Phil Sayer – voice of reason, radio, and railways. A dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend,” Hamilton wrote on Facebook.

For those who regularly take public transit, Sayer’s calm, yet stern, voice is a familiar one. He and Hamilton have both recorded announcements for the London Underground and for the railway for years. They’ve described themselves as the U.K.’s most apologetic couple, since their voices were the ones to break the bad news about delays and canceled trains.

Sayer was a presenter for the BBC and several radio stations before he switched gears and became a voiceover artist. And though he’s read the news to millions of people and voiced many commercials, Sayer’s biggest legacy is surely his turn being the “mind the gap” voice.

He had the perfect formula: “When you start to feel slightly ridiculous in yourself, you’re probably just about getting it right,” he told the Manchester Evening News in 2010. “All it is, is actually just a very exaggerated version of your real self.”

When news of his death went public, some Londoners wrote that they remember his as a prominent voice of their childhood:

Others vowed not to forget him:

One even wrote Sayer a poem:

And Hamilton signed off her Facebook announcement in the best way possible: “We are sorry to announce that this service terminates here.”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Environment

    A 13,235-Mile Road Trip for 70-Degree Weather Every Day

    This year-long journey across the U.S. keeps you at consistent high temperatures.

  2. a photo of a police line barricade in front of a sidewalk
    Transportation

    What We Fight About When We Fight About Parking

    The urban economist Donald Shoup collects reports of violence that erupts over parking spaces. To him, disputes between drivers are signs of a bigger problem.

  3. Design

    Paris Will Create the City's Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

    The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.

  4. Opponents of SB 50.
    Equity

    Despite Resistance, Cities Turn to Density to Tackle Housing Inequality

    Residential “upzoning” policies being adopted from Minneapolis to Seattle were once politically out of the question. Now they’re just politically fraught.

  5. A map of the money service-class workers have left over after paying for housing
    Equity

    Blue-Collar and Service Workers Fare Better Outside Superstar Cities

    How much money do workers have after paying housing costs? For working-class and service workers in superstar cities, the affordable housing crisis hits harder.