Gavan Reilly's Portfolio writings, ramblings, mumblings

Trigger Happy Telephone

Despite repeated warnings in cinemas, some people just love to talk says Gav Reilly

It doesn’t seem like five years now since the heyday of Trigger Happy TV but it really has been half a decade since Dom Joly was on our screens with his inimitable oversized Nokia phone, screaming a protracted ‘Hell-low!’ from various, exceptionally random locations (“Yeah, I’m in Brussels,” anyone?). The one residual moment that lives on, in real-life practice on a daily basis, is the scene in London’s Odeon. “Hello? Yeah, I’m at the pictures.”

Of course, the problem with Trigger Happy TV was that, after a few years, it just became far less funny. Naturally, then, having the cinema scene repeated ad nauseum is far less funny again.

We’ve all been there, though – engrossed in Hollywood’s latest million-dollar offerings, gripped by the drama unfolding before us, only to be interrupted by someone in the row in front of us getting an ‘urgent’ (“No! Oh my God, can you dye it back blonde again?”) phone call, accompanied by the piercing trill of whatever Pussycat Dolls, or – God forbid – vintage Spice Girls ringtone they’ve procured for the day. Worse again, obviously, is when they actually enter into conversation for a good fifteen minutes or more, and the rest of the cinema-going public is privy to all that, like, totally crucial gossip about Girl X, Boy Y, the other Boy Z (surely related to Y somehow) and nightclub A. It’s frankly stupid.

So what’s to be done? Well, newer cinemas are being built with copper plates in their ceilings which bar any mobile reception, but legal challenges are being planned because this will also block a phone from calling the emergency services. Short of asking phone operators not to provide coverage in certain buildings, then, it seems that we’ll just have to hope that people start taking the hint and actually turning their phones off when asked to. And if you’re going to insist on leaving your phone on, then at least do everybody a favour and get a decent ringtone, would you? A bit of Bell X1 always goes down nicely.