This Is The Woman Who Says “Unexpected Item In The Bagging Area” At Supermarkets

The voice behind most of the UK’s self-service checkouts is revealed.

1. Ever wondered who the voice behind the UK’s self-service checkouts is? The one telling you that there’s an unexpected item in the bagging area, even when there clearly isn’t?

Flickr: jaygooby / Creative Commons

For many years, the person’s identity was a closely guarded secret, as the National Cash Register Corporation – the American firm that makes most of Britain’s self-service checkouts – reportedly didn’t want her poached by a rival firm.

2. But now the voice behind a million requests to enter your PIN has been revealed as actress and voiceover artist Helena Breck.

She’s not the only voice of the checkouts any more – the company has diversified and brought in other voice actors – but she was the original. (You can listen to a sample of her other voice work at her agent’s site.)

3. Here she is in the 1981 ITV drama Crown Court.


She also appeared in EastEnders in 1994, and was a regular cast member in the notoriously ropey soap-opera-on-a-North-Sea-ferry Triangle.

She told MailOnline: ‘I still hear myself sometimes when I go into the supermarket but they have new voices now and I am doing other things.’

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Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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