Comedian Andy Parsons fronts new video from the Campaign to End Loneliness

“Why don’t we talk anymore?” Charity encourages people to chat with strangers to combat loneliness

Comedian Andy Parsons chats to unsuspecting strangers as part of the Campaign to End Loneliness’s new video, Let’s Talk More


Comedian Andy Parsons (from Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo) fronts a new video
from the Campaign to End Loneliness to encourage people to talk more. The film shows
public reaction as Andy spends a day in a shopping centre encouraging people to get off
their smartphones and have a chat. Secret cameras captured the moment surprised
shoppers were approached by Andy, and despite some early awkward moments, the video
shows the laughter and joy talking to strangers can bring.

The video is part of Be More Us, a nationwide movement to inspire connection, tackle
loneliness and bring people together. Loneliness affects nine million people in the UK.

The video was developed off the back of research showing that small moments of
connection, such as talking with strangers, can make us feel more connected in our
communities and reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Polling by the Campaign to
End Loneliness found that 9 in 10 UK adults believe that these small moments of connection
can help to tackle loneliness.

Commenting on the campaign, Andy said: “I was apprehensive about just sitting down in the
middle of a shopping centre and initiating conversations with total strangers. I wasn’t sure
whether many people would talk to me at all, let alone whether we would get any footage we
could turn into a film. As it was, everybody, without exception, was pleasant and the four
hours I spent there passed incredibly quickly. Just a few words, asking someone how they
are, can positively change how a person feels about their day and I would recommend the
experience to everyone. If we all strive to have more conversations with the people around
us, then we can spread a little happiness and help reduce loneliness in Britain. As I go
around the country on tour, I shall definitely be popping into more shopping centres and
looking forward to sitting down on a bench for a chat.”

Be more us charity video starring Andy Parsons

Laura Alcock-Ferguson, Executive Director at the Campaign to End Loneliness, said: “In
today’s fast-paced world it’s all too easy to shut ourselves off and forget how to connect with
people around us. But even a small change in behaviour – like simply saying hello to a
neighbour – can make you feel better and brighten up someone else’s day too. Every one of
us can make a positive difference in our communities, just by talking to each other more.”

Campaign to End Loneliness’ top tips to get talking:
1. Start small – It’s better to expand your comfort zone gradually. Small gestures such
as smiling or just saying ‘Good morning’ to people you pass in the street can make a
big difference

2. Ask open questions – ‘How are you?’ is a good start but, in reality, it’s almost a
closed question as most people will answer ‘fine, thanks’. Instead, try asking for
advice or an opinion, commenting on the weather, or sharing a compliment

3. Look approachable – Non-verbal communication makes up a minimum of 60% of
our communication, so smile and uncross your arms. That also means making
yourself approachable, by putting your phone down and taking off your headphones

4. Get out there – Going to evening classes, attending a workshop, learning a new
sport or volunteering can open up opportunities to meet new like-minded people

5. Challenge yourself – Set yourself goals for talking to new people every week, for
example at your bus stop or train station, learning the name of the shop assistant at
your local newsagent or having a conversation with a neighbour

Anyone who wants to help end loneliness can sign up to the movement at

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Mark Meets
Mark Meets
MarkMeets Media is British-based online news magazine covering showbiz, music, tv and movies
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