Virgin Media launches virtual assistant to help Brits socialise

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As Brits prepare for a deluge of social invitations when lockdown restrictions lift next week, Virgin Media teams up with TV personality Tom Read Wilson to help the nation socialise strategically and ease back into life after lockdown.

Launching just days before indoor socialising resumes across the UK from 17 May, Virgin Media is unveiling a series of lockdown lifting life hacks to help the nation find balance and avoid burnout.

Busy Brits will be able to hand over life admin tasks to their own PA – whether that’s organising reunions, booking restaurants or scheduling ‘me time’ – thanks to the company’s free virtual assistant service.

The celeb-style service, which is open for applications from today until 26 May, will be delivered by a crack team of ultra-efficient assistants assembled by TV personality and pro coordinator, Tom Read Wilson.

This follows research revealing more than a quarter (27%) of Brits are feeling ‘overwhelmed’ by the social plans and life admin that will come with life after lockdown, with more than half (53%) having already struggled to make appointments or arrange bookings since lockdown measures began to ease in April.

Saying no with grace

Many people report having enjoyed a quieter life during lockdown with more than half now admitting they’ve told ‘white lies’ to get out of invitations.

To help Brits streamline their social plans and continue enjoying time at home, the ever-eloquent Tom Read Wilson has helped Virgin Media to create the ‘polite decline generator’ – an online tool that generates an array of excellently articulate excuses to help people say no with grace at the push of a button.

Tom Read Wilson said: “Whether it’s due to the sheer multiplicity of social plans or the daunting thought of hosting a soirée, it’s no wonder we’re all feeling a bit overwhelmed by this new-found freedom that will soon be upon us.”

“As we accelerate towards a post-restriction world, it’s important to remember to pause and practice the art of moderation when reconnecting with loved ones and adjusting to a busier routine – the last thing we want is social burnout.

“I truly believe that a well-organised diary can put a spring into anyone’s step and make the world of difference, which is why I’ve helped Virgin Media assemble a team of superstar virtual assistants to streamline social diaries and schedule that all-important me-time.

“And for those who need a bit of assistance wriggling their way out of unwanted plans or simply want to continue to embrace the joy of missing out, they can head to my ‘polite decline generator’ for some inspiration on how to say no with grace.”

Jeff Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Media, said: “After more than a year of virtual get-togethers and boxset binges, we’re excited to reconnect with family and friends again in person.

“But with many people telling us they’ve enjoyed the slower pace of life and wanting to continue with video calls after restrictions end, our lockdown lifting life hacks, combined with ultrafast broadband and brilliant TV, provides everything people need to balance me-time on the sofa with we-time out and about.”