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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy 50th TMS

When I was a kid I would happily spend many a happy hour watching cricket on TV. The phrase though is watching on TV because the sound would be off and I would be tuned to the Radio listening to Test Match Special.

I can't help but feel that TMS is a very British institution. Its been going for 50 years now. The commentators were/are real characters. Many people listen have no interest in cricket, they tuned into listen to the voices and because it was such fun. The commentators would regularly receive chocolate cakes and the like from listeners.

In my time the commentary box was dominated by two giants, John Arlott and Brian Johnston. Arlott was a word smith and came out with lines like "The stroke of a man knocking a thistle-top off with a walking stick".

Johnston, an old Etonian and Guardsman, was the boxes comic(and my favourite). He described the programme as "a bunch of friends going to a match and talking about it." The friend in the next imaginary deckchair is the listener. He once waited for the visiting Australian commentator Alan McGilvray to put a large slice of cake in his mouth before asking a crucial question, crumbs went everywhere.

Perhaps the most famous Johnston incident happened after the close of play. Johnston was going over the days play with Jonathan Agnew when "leg-over" incident happened.

Normally when a famous person dies the BBC ended the main news with the story. When Johnston died they just played THE clip. Johnners would have loved it and it made me smile listening to it just now!

1 comment:

Eagleseagles said...

That brings back memories..it was one of the "I was there" moments!!

I too used to do the sound off the TV as TMS was and is special!!

C