One of those voices

Entertainment in the ’50s and ’60s was all about sound, not so much about images. The wireless played a leading rõle in family life, with the morning pips reminding us we were already late, the evening news gathering us together at 6 o’clock and favourite programmes on weekdays and at weekends. And in our house the cricket coverage was eagerly awaited, especially the voice of John Arlott.

So it was probably my generation of listeners who first welcomed what is now known as TMS; a sporting institution. Down the years Brian Johnston (sans the ‘e’) and his younger pupils have bemused and amused us every year.

But Henry Blofeld has been a star in the firmament, with erudition and wit we should hardly expect from a mere sport programme. And now he too is going to retire.

Thank you, Bloers!

Author: janus

I'm back......and front - in sunny Sussex-by-the-sea

27 thoughts on “One of those voices”

  1. Wonderful thing the radio, the audible inspirer of emotions. I still remember, as a small boy, being in tears the night that Carol Archer died in the fire. Who could forget ever the Goons or Humph with Willy Rushton, the invisible Samatha and games of Mornington Crescent? Or the great Brian Johnston in tears because Botham didn’t quite get his leg over? Henry is part of that same bank of memories.
    There is, for me, still one commentator that still who has the same type of ability, one that I almost prefer to listen to than to watch, Peter Aliss who rarely ceases to amuse. The last of long and distinguished line.

  2. I would concur with the above. For all its many, many current failings, Auntie had a great stable of commentators down the years and some great programming on t’radio.

    As for commentators, I think Henry deserves his place up there in the pantheon with Johnners (Johnston, not Johnstone, young Janus!), Peter Alliss, Harry Carpenter, Peter O’Sullevan, Bill McLaren, Eddie Waring and Dan Maskell. These are, or were, men who knew their sport inside out and with the gift to communicate their knowledge and love of the game to a wider audience.

    Radio programming back in the day was a positive cornucopia of erudite talent. Who could forget The Navy Lark, Round the Horne, I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again, H-h-h-h-ancock;s Half Hour, etc., etc.? The list is endless.

    Only a few years ago the BEEB ran an advert (on telly) for the World Service with personages such as Henry Kissinger and the Dalai Lama recounting how they grew up listening for Lillibullero on short wave followed by a dispassionate precis of the day’s news and events. The current batch of semi-literate simians in Broadcasting House, Salford Quays or wherever just can’t do that sort of thing anymore. Sic transit gloria… an’ all that.


  3. . . . me bird threw up in the motor on Monday . . . Latin to Sarf-Lunnon-speak.

    I know you’ve all heard it before, but it always makes me chuckle. Thanks for the reminder, OZ. 🙂

  4. Oh, my dear old thing! He’ll be missed.

    Saw him two years ago at the Embran Fringe Festival.. An unforgettable hour of hysterically funny anecdotes.

    Still think TMS is in safe hands, despite the awaygoing of Bloers, Jonners, Fiery Fred, CMJ, The Alderman, the Bearded Wonder and so many others. I even quite liked Swanton and tholed the Dancing Fly Half.

    We’ve still got Aggers, Boycs, Bumble and Vaughnie. I have high hopes for James Taylor (allegedly Titch but I’ve never heard him called that) and think the female intake are pretty special, particularly Ebony and Isa, Even Tuffers and Daggers are not complete rubbish.

    Off to listen to the T20 game. C’mon England.

  5. Are you talking about the last game or prognosticating the present one? If former, true, If latter, I have a good feeling. Roy self-regicided yet again. but Malan mellifluously magnificent.

    And there’s the commentator curse. I hadn’t even actually posted my praise and he’s gone. Still a great debut innings.

  6. Get a room, you cricketists! Meanwhile, back on thread, I hear that “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue” is back on Radio 4 Monday evenings at 6.30. I do hope they also broadcast some repeats from the early days so we can once again enjoy the lovely Samantha sitting on Humphrey’s left hand.


  7. Interesting.
    I had a weird father,

    No radios allowed in bedrooms,
    no TV in the house,
    no car (deliberately)
    no telephone (deliberately) Both the above was so London couldn’t get him, they had to send a police car.
    No fridge or washing machine, the old girl was not mechanically minded, too busy reading Latin and Greek!
    not allowed to go to public dance halls. (they were vulgar!)

    Life went like this until I left for university at 18.

    Which is why I guess I am not influenced by outside opinion etc, always made my own mind up.
    We got the news at 6pm over dinner and then the radio was turned off.

  8. Moving on, I was glued to the radio for the return of ‘ISIHAC’ last Monday until Jack Dee said Jo Brand was on. I immediately switched off. I just can not thole Jo Brand.An unfunny, ungracious and deeply and unpleasantly self-satisfied and smug serial leftist.

    In my opinion.

  9. JM – Your opinion is shared by many. In my opinion. And don’t even get me started on the potty mouthed, Glaswegian waste of DNA and oxygen that passes for Frankie Boyle. Please take him back. Pleeeease!

    We have very recently had installed in The Cave a sneaky-beaky black box of electrickery that allows access to a myriad telly and radio channels. I duly tuned in found the right channel code for Radio 4 last Monday at 6.30 and, not having heard the programme for years, was hugely disappointed. Unlike my good self, ISIHAC seems not to have grown old gracefully.

    On the other hand, I should be able to watch the decider in the State of Origin series on July 12th if it is broadcast anywhere in the northern hemisphere.


  10. “OZ, I want one!! 🙂”
    Janus, every evening, I listen to Radio 4 on TuneIn Radio, a free App on Android or Apple or even on your PC. I can listen to almost any radio station in the world for free as well as podcasts, and speciality radio stations such as the Economist. Bluetooth to some speakers and you can listen anywhere in your home at your leejure. Right now for example it is the repeat of Any Questions with David, sorry, I mean Jonathan Dimbleby. At this moment they are discussing gay marriage in Northern Ireland. I think, but I am not really listening.

  11. Janus – Put IPTV into Google to learn what its all about then go to find your friendly, neighbourhood supplier. There must be some even in the wilds of deepest Daneland. As it’s all available via t’interweb thingy it must be available anywhere in the world although a good broadband access is essential – my tame geek arranged 4G WIFI connectivity to The Cave for €15 per month with a one-off charge (€160) for the sneaky-beaky box. It is not the sort of thing that conventional broadcasters want you to know about. Having had the system installed, it is beyond me why anyone would pay a licence fee as promulgated by the BBC, We know where you live,, for example (although other rip-off merchants are available to tax you for the telly you bought on the high street, using net income after tax to buy the thing with additional sales tax on top of that) and the astronomical monthly subscriptions (plus sales tax) to some provider for repeats of yesterday’s footy games and ‘Murican daytime opium for the massed hard of understanding.


Add your Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: