Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Monday, 11 May 2015

Blow Jobs, Banter And Total Nudity. Here\\\\\\\'s What Really Happens On London\\\\\\\'s Night Busses

Blow Jobs, Banter And Total Nudity. Here's What Really Happens On London's Night Buses

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If you live in a UK city that has busses running through the night then you've probably got a collection of stories under your belt about them that would make anyone over 35's hair curl.

Although not exclusively used by inebriated travellers (some people actually need them to go to work guys), the stereotype of the night bus is that it's essentially a moving extension of whatever club it's riders have just fallen out of. From the lads still drinking cans to the shoeless girl crying in the corner to the couple having an overly heated debate and blocking the door, night buses are just as much a part of our going out process as the pre-drinks.

Now, a production company has decided to document what exactly happens on the night bus; on the number 29 route running from Trafalgar Square to Wood Green more specifically. The crew set up rig cameras and, in the same way as reality show The Chicken Shop did, filmed people as they made their way home from a night out.

Blow Jobs, Banter And Total Nudity. Here's What Really Happens On London's Night Busses

Watching the first episode you initially feel so bad for the drivers. And then for all the other night bus drivers who’ve had to put up with you singing Whitney Houston at 3AM in the morning in the past. But the drivers on the 29 to Wood Green seem pretty jovial. ‘The guys said there’s two types of night bus driver.’ Says David, The Night Bus’s executive producer. There’s the driver who thinks at night you can shut yourself away; there’s no traffic to battle with, he can be in his own little world… but also, and one of the drivers told us this, there’s a real difference in how passengers interact with you on the night bus. In the day, people don’t want to speak, they’re rushing off to work, they’re not talking to the driver or each other. At night though, there are different rules – possibly because we’ve had a drink – but the night bus becomes one of the few places were people are prepared to chat. It’s a really rare place where different people who coexist in this diverse city get thrown up against each other. It’s great.’

And indeed in the first episode, things are pretty great; there’s none of the throwing up, weeing in the aisles, violent nonsense that probably comes to mind if you conjure up images of what travelling in London past 2AM is like. Although, David says, that’s not to say it doesn’t happen. ‘There’s a group of passengers in the final episode, Bulgarians who are over here studying, that tell stories about different things they’ve seen on the night bus and they said they’d seen someone giving a blow job!’ The worst that happens on the first episode are a couple of sombrero toting freshers who think undressing on the top deck is an excellent idea (we bet they'll be disagreeing once the show's gone out). And, as David is keen to point out, crime on London buses has gone down recently - especially since removing the bendy busses from circulation back in 2011. ‘The driver was so far away from what was happening at the back of the bus’ explains David, something we definitely didn’t take into account at the time, instead incensed that our ‘free’ mode of transport had gone out the window. 

The interaction between guys and girls who meet on the night bus makes for a very interesting watch. From the drunken Canadian guy who flirts with an equally inebriated Kiwi girl (he receives an invitation back to hers and responds with an outlandish snog) to the 18 year olds who attempt to convince a lone girl to join their night out through a series of banterific comments, we were interested to know if David had seen anything he’d felt a bit weird about. ‘We didn’t see anybody who was feeling uncomfortable although that would have been interesting to feature if we had seen and could have got consent from the girl. I know TFL have been talking quite a bit in the press about this and we’re going to provide links to their project on the Channel 4 support page. I think sexual harassment is underreported by 90% or something horrific like that because the victims don’t think they’ll be taken seriously. In fact, when we were talking to TFL they were saying there’s a problem not so much at night but on busy tubes during the day where people are inappropriately touching people. We definitely didn’t see any of that sort of behaviour on the bus.’

The first episode ends with an unfortunate chap who’s taken a nap and ended up at the end of the line. ‘That guy was lucky, some of the 29s go all the way to Enfield!’ Laughs David. ‘We have two people on the series oversleep. I think if they’re really tired or drunk and the drivers can’t wake them up then they have to phone the transport police.’ Literally the last thing you want to deal with at 5AM when you’ve got half a kebab left to eat amiright? ‘We actually did a series for BBC 2 a few years back about the tube network and loads of people fall asleep and wake up in Morden at the end of the Northern Line. There’s a guy who works there who would frequently dip into this own wallet to help a lone female get home and he said 90% of the time they would be as good as their word and return the money. There’s a nice heartwarming story for you!’

The Night Bus is on Channel 4 Monday 11th May at 9PM

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Tags: TV We\'re Unashamedly Watching, Boozing, TV