Talking statues start up conversation in Canary Wharf

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Wharfers fond of an al-fresco lunch have more than likely sat under the gaze of the Couple On Seat statue while snacking on their sandwiches in Cabot Square.

But this summer the bronze sculpture by Lynn Chadwick has taken on a voice of its own, courtesy of the Talking Statues initiative.

Now workers will be able to catch snippets of two interrelated marital monologues emanating from the artwork and activated by the simple swipe of a smartphone on an attached tag.

Voiced by top comedians and husband-and-wife duo Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar, it is Meatspace author Nikesh Shukla who is responsible for penning the lively script.

The 31-year-old said he wanted to offer an insight into what the couple's marriage was like after 40 years.

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"They're sat on the bench, surveying the suited and booted walking around Canary Wharf looking for the man's wedding suit which his wife sold," said Nikesh.

"He wants it back and, through this, you find out about their marriage, how they arrived at where they are at and what their intentions are for their time in Canary Wharf.

"I think I've given it a unique context and universality.

"And when I knew Meera and Sanjeev were bringing the voices to it it gave me the idea of what tone it should be - warm and comedic."

The statues first came to life on Monday and visitors can tie in an experience of their dialogue with an entire tour of Canary Wharf's public sculpture and art, the largest public collection in London.

"I hope Wharfers will wonder whether they are wearing the suit the guy is looking for," Nikesh added.