‘Cricket may have changed, but commentary hasn’t’

Memories of Test Match Special

Memories of Test Match Special

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While England’s cricketers were toiling out on the field, Messrs Blofeld and Baxter were pulling in the crowds of a different kind.

Last year, Henry Blofeld and Peter Baxter played three weeks at the Edinburgh Festival with their Memories Of Test Match Special show.

This year, they treated their Edinburgh audiences to 28 dates and had a ball.

“You must tell your readers that it absolutely isn’t a cricket show that we do,” Henry insists, however.

“The show, if it is about anything, is about broadcasting, all the comedy, all the c***-ups we have had. We don’t talk about the players or anything like that. It’s a very lady-friendly show.

“In Edinburgh, we have had the most wonderful demographic, all sorts of people coming along.

“Edinburgh was marvellous. It is such a unique opportunity.”

Not that Henry was able to take in any other shows, though.

As he points out, by the time they bring the show to the Hawth in Crawley on Tuesday, October 7, at 7.30pm, Henry will have celebrated his 75th birthday.

“By the time you have been out flyering, done the show and then got back and had a glass of wine, you are pretty tired!”

Between them, Henry and Peter are promising untold stories from the Test Match Special commentary box and beyond, tall tales from across the globe with exclusive behind-the-scenes adventures about the characters that make TMS so special.

However, clearly, the cricket will never be far away.

Cricket is a game that has changed massively down the years; the art of commentary, Henry insists, has remained the same.

“What a commentator does is tell the story that is unfolding in front of you. You are simply describing it. Cricket may have changed, but commentary hasn’t.”

In between times, the summariser – always a former England player – will add the embroidery.

“On radio, the commentator is in effect the TV camera. The commentator has got to be above all a broadcaster. On television you don’t have to say ‘The bowler is coming in’ because the viewer can see it.”

Henry has done plenty of TV commentary, but really it isn’t for him: “I am not very good at it. I love to be able to describe what is happening.”

Peter Baxter was the brain behind TMS for over 34 years; the man tasked with the unenviable position of corralling Henry and his cohorts around the world. 

Together they offer a hilariously-entertaining show for both cricket and non-cricket lovers alike.

Tickets on 01293 553636 or book online here