It may be late, overcrowded and downright infuriating, but no-one can accuse the London Underground of lacking a sense of humor.

The last few days have seen two giggle-provoking stunts hit the Tube, in an attempt to intrigue and amuse cash-strapped, over-stressed London commuters.

…British television will soon be making the switchover to digital television for good.

Central Line users were in for a shock on Monday, when one of the tubes currently cruising the line arrived kitted out with hot pink hand rails, matching seats and an enormous friendly robot mascot.

The unorthodox refurbishment is an attempt to remind Londoners that British television will soon be making the switchover to digital television for good. From April, analogue televisions will simply go blank if viewers fail to update their out-of-date sets.

…removed their trousers and rode the Bakerloo Line…

On a different note, underground users may have gone a deep shade of pink themselves in central London this Sunday, after an unusual flash-mob descended on the Tube.

No Trousers on the Tube Day had travellers rubbing their eyes in disbelief, as over 100 people assembled in Trafalgar Square, removed their trousers and rode the Bakerloo Line, utterly unfazed, from Charing Cross to Paddington.

…I love the Brits so much! Everyone’s so unfazed!

The stunt is part of a global campaign by New York collective Improv Everywhere, which aims to “cause scenes of chaos and joy in public places” in an effort to cheer up the general population. Other cities, including Washington, Madrid and Toronto, witnessed similar trouser-free scenes

The idea originated across the pond, where No Trousers on the Subway day has been an annual occurrence for over a decade, and Twitter users across the Atlantic voiced their support for the London stunt. “We need more whacky holidays. Makes hate and anger tougher”, said one American supporter. “I love the Brits so much! Everyone’s so unfazed!”, tweeted another.

…thousands of people to take to the Tube for a final alcohol-fuelled party.

It’s not the first time stunts have hit London transport. Tube bosses were incensed in 2007 when a daredevil stuntman skied down the Tube’s longest escalator, at Angel station in Islington. Skier Peter Olenick filmed himself hurtling down the 300 foot escalator, with the clip inevitably going viral on Youtube.

There was further controversy in summer of 2008 when a ban on the drinking of alcohol on the underground spurred thousands of people to take to the Tube for a final alcohol-fuelled party. 

…romantic Adam King chose it as the perfect setting for a marriage proposal.

Arrangements for the “Last Round on the Underground”, as it was dubbed, spread rapidly and gained momentum through Facebook.  Inevitably, the revels got somewhat out of hand, with six stations having to close after being mobbed by over-enthusiastic party-goers.

On a more genteel note, the 19.57 Overground service to Watford Junction gained worldwide fame on Youtube last year when romantic Adam King chose it as the perfect setting for a marriage proposal. When a choir of pre-planted singers suddenly burst into song and King proposed on one knee, his stunned girlfriend burst into tears – and (fortunately) accepted.

There are few things as tedious as the early morning commute – but with a bit of luck, you might just find yourself in the middle of the next all-singing, all-skiing flash-mob stunt.  Best to expect the unexpected then.

 

About The Author

London-based broadcast and online journalist, with a penchant for sports.

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