A zany Sheffield train manager is becoming something of a minor celebrity thanks to his quirky announcements that leave passengers rolling in the aisles.
Matt Dawson, from Heeley, has come to regional and national attention for his wisecracks while working on East Midlands Trains services between Sheffield and London.
His announcements have included: “Please take all your belongings with you, including your husbands.”
Matt, aged 39, said: “It has all gone a little bit crazy in these last few weeks.
“I haven’t been doing anything different, it is just that certain people have picked up on it.”
Matt has been working for East Midlands Trains for 15 years and has been a train manager mainly working between Sheffield and London St Pancras for the past nine.
He said he initially started doing announcements ‘with a little bit of humour’ to make journeys go quicker for staff.
But he said things really picked up the pace when he joined Twitter and could get instant reactions from passengers.
“When Twitter kicked off, customers could feed back immediately if they like something you say,” he said.
“Twitter is this great thing. It just became a bit of an addiction for me – if you said something funny and people liked it you could log into Twitter and see somebody saying ‘This guy is hilarious’.”
Along with the jovial greetings and observational comedy, Matt also invites friendly passengers up to first class, including anyone from hen parties to couples celebrating their wedding anniversary.
He said to keep things interesting he often comes up with light-hearted remarks about the different stops along the route.
“One of my favourite ones we have started announcing is that Leicester is the home of the Premier League champions and tag on to that other things they are famous for like Gary Lineker and crisps.
“We call at Long Eaton and I would like to point out that despite the name it has the shortest platform on our network!
“If you do something a little bit comical, it makes people listen to it and they are waiting for the next announcement.”
East Midlands Trains has been inundated with complimentary tweets about Matt and even a poem.
One Twitter user called him ‘the greatest train manager alive’, while another said rail booking websites should state which services he is going to be on so they can make sure they were on his train.
And one passenger was even moved to poetry by Matt, writing: “Our cheerful train manager pleads;
“For feedback on East Midlands Trains’ deeds;
“Well, Matt, I’m seated and not overheated;
“I hope you get safely to Leeds.”