The beautiful boy was sitting in the passenger seat of the car outside Maryhill’s Lidl listening to his radio, turned up very high. I got into my car, started it, and my radio too came on – a look of camaraderie shot between the stout middle aged woman and the lad. We were both listening to TMS. Test Match Special is a unique experience. ‘Ball by ball commentary on the Test Match’ does not even begin to sum it up.
In quiet moments we enjoy comments on the cakes, the pies and the pigeon. If you actually using the name on your birth certificate, well, you are a bit of an outsider. Better to be Blowers, or Aggers, or CMJ. In more exciting moments, more than grown up men with accents from the thirties shout them selves hoarse with enthusiasm (just don’t have a heart attack, we so need you!). Always there is accessible commentary which helps those like me who only have the haziest grasp of the technicalities to know just why the fielder has been moved to silly mid on. And the statistics – oh they are there with the chocolate cakes. Endless, funny, delicious. And currently, the batsmen can’t bat and the bowlers can’t bowl, and the only thing saving England’s bacon is the fact the bowlers appear to be able to bat.
So if Channel 5 exhorts you to ‘The Ashes, just the best bits’ – forget it. Even if you can’t listen all day, and most of us can’t, you will have more fun, and learn more, by listening to a little more gardening at the wicket over on TMS.