Jul 07

They Don’t Like Cricket…

FT + TMFD35 comments • 1,927 views

_145680_drag_fan.jpgDid the members of 10CC* actually like cricket or not (answer THEY LOVED IT!) Cricket has, for want of a better word, a fuddy-duddy image. It has panama hats, dress codes and ties for supporters. And whilst charming young gentlemen like this members of England’s Barmy Army try to move it into the progressive, cross-dressing 1930’s, this image is still difficult to shift.

But Test Match Special, the flagship radio show, is fighting this image. Whenever they see a member of a hip young rock and roll band in the stands, why they rustle them into the box for a chat. And to the credit of the young rock band members, they often aquit themselves well chatting to Aggers et al. But then the obtuse and somewhat jokey atmosphere on Test Match Special is not a million miles away from being interviewed on Popworld by a Christmas Pudding.

In my opinion though this is a hiding to nothing. Cricket’s image is one of its assets. By all means invent 20-20 Cricket, with Girls Aloud playing at half-time. But bear in mind that Test Cricket takes five days and stops for lunch and tea. Enless you change the name to EXTREME LUNCHEON, and RED BULL BREAK, you are never going to shake that off. No matter how many members of Razorlight or McFly you have on your side.

Actually especially if you have members of Razorlight on your side.

*What is the difference between 10CC and the ICC? NOTHING!


  1. 1
    katstevens on 27 Jul 2007 #

    Hooray for the drummer McFly! He’s hunky.

  2. 2
    Mark M on 27 Jul 2007 #

    They’ve been pop mad on TMS recently. As referred to elsewhere, there was lovely old Tony Crozier getting all obsessed about his countrywoman Rihanna, and going “umber-ella-ella” every time it started to rain. Then the other day (and I can’t remember who this was), there was super-intense discussion about whether Liberty X had split up (because Jessica X is involved with the beastly Boer). Not sure that even the most fevered Poptimists are that concerned about whether Liberty X release another song…

  3. 3
    CarsmileSteve on 28 Jul 2007 #

    lovely comment thread, there, as well…

  4. 4
    Mark M on 28 Jul 2007 #

    CMJ is pondering how McFly got their name – Ashley Giles, who I guess is the resident voice of youth, can’t help…

  5. 5
    Mark M on 25 Sep 2007 #

    Rain break during the 2020 semis: Boycott: “No-one wants to listen to me all day[!]. Put some Kylie on…”

  6. 6
    Mark M on 23 Aug 2009 #

    So yesterday, TMS had it’s biggest encounter yet with tabloid pop culture when Lily Allen was the lunchtime guest. Here’s Will Buckley’s Obs version of it , which appears to have upset the readers but I thought was not inaccurate. If anything, it’s a bit kind to Lily, who answers any vaguely difficult question with a screechy giggle. She really isn’t anywhere near as bright as she thinks she is. The best bit of the whole thing was in the build-up when Aggers was trying to hint at who it was going to be, and said “they’ll be coming from Amsterdam by bus” and Tufnell goes “Dennis Bergkamp?”
    Afterwards, CMJ confessed he’d last paid attention to pop around the time of “Diana Ross & the Supremes”, which I actually thought was surprisingly modern for him.

  7. 7
    Pete on 24 Aug 2009 #

    Yes the Tufnell gag was one for the ages. He really has been the most valuable player of the commentary box.

    I thought the interview was quite entertaining, certainly on a par with the other pop star, celeb interviews they have had. Its a funny slot that interview slot anyway, and I think what the commentators are having a go at Buckley about is the suggestion that there was something pervy, as opposed to a mixture of cross generational apprehension and excitement that Aggers put across. Lily is not the best cricket interviewee, but then that’s part of the joy of a five day test. I’d rather her than the Duke Of Edinburgh again.

  8. 8
    Mark M on 24 Aug 2009 #

    Well, he did keep mentioning “wardrobe malfunctions’… But yes, what’s entertaining is Aggers’ fraught* attempts to keep up to date when he is essentially clueless about popular culture, and I imagine would’ve been equally so in 1980 (he seems fairly football-phobic, too).

    (*Aggers’ public persona is quite largely one of being anxious, it’s fitting that the one time I saw him in real life he had every reason to nervous. It’s was Delhi airport two days after the Mumbai attacks, and the British cricket team and media were (very briefly, it turned out) fleeing the country. Poor old Aggers was pacing around even more than I was, while the enormous figures of Gus Fraser and Derek Pringle slouched apparently nonchalant in their chairs).

  9. 9
    Mark M on 24 Aug 2009 #

    Clearly, any guest at any occasion is preferable to the D O E.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 24 Aug 2009 #

    But Aggers had a whale of a time interviewing Daniel Radcliffe and Tom “Draco” Felton at lunch on the decisive day of the Oval Test. A lot of fun and great radio.

    Email of the day: “My long-term girlfriend dumped me at the very moment Freddie ran out Ponting. She seemed very puzzled at my reaction…”

  11. 11
    Mark M on 24 Aug 2009 #

    Re 10: They’re not gurlz.

  12. 12
    Mark M on 28 Dec 2009 #

    As I struggle with my financial records for 08/09, Michael Vaughan, having dutifully reported on his text message from Lily on holiday, is droning on about the glories of Sheffield music, suggesting the entire nation of South Africa has nothing to compare to the Steel City’s collective heritage. He might be joking, but it doesn’t sound like it. Charmless.

  13. 13
    Mark M on 16 Dec 2012 #

    TMS pop update: Geoffrey, who is 72, is complaining about the muzak in his hotel in Nagpur and suggesting they could improve matters by playing some Katy Perry, preferably Firework.

  14. 14
    Mark M on 1 Jan 2013 #

    RIP, CMJ

  15. 15
    Mark M on 14 Jun 2014 #

    Nihal was just trying to explain Kendrick Lamar to Aggers when the they had a technical crisis and the signal went (on digital radio, anyway).

  16. 16
    Mark M on 19 Jul 2014 #

    Richard Thompson today – he’s sung a couple of songs. I seem to remember he has a rep of being a bit prickly, but he’s clearly utterly thrilled to be on TMS, star-struck by being in Boycott’s presence. He even just broke into Dreadlock
    Holiday for a moment…

  17. 17
    Mark M on 27 Feb 2015 #

    Down at the World Cup, Aggers reports that he’d been singing at karaoke for the first time since 1992. He claims it was Please Release Me, while Swann says it was The Last Waltz.

  18. 18
    Mark M on 15 Apr 2015 #

    Yesterday’s TMS pop guest was Voice judge (and sometime Kaiser Chief) Ricky Wilson. He turns out not to be a cricket fan, having never been to a match previously despite ‘growing up in the shadow of Headingley and now living in the shadow of Lord’s’ – but being in Antigua at the same time as the 1st Test, thought he’d make the scene.

    However, in a break with tradition, it wasn’t Aggers who did the interview, but Graeme Swann, who’s actually younger than Wilson, so it lacked JA’s enthusiastic-but-somewhat clueless-uncle vibe. The most notable thing was that, despite being Yorkshire-born-and-bred, Wilson did by some distance the worst Geoffrey Boycott impression I have ever heard.

  19. 19
    Mark M on 17 Apr 2015 #

    TMS’ resident intellectual Ed Smith is trying to convince Vaughan that he should have a listen to Ryan Adams. Vaughan is rightly sceptical, and is doubtful that such a thing as ‘folk rock’ actually exists. (Would you describe Adams as folk rock?)

  20. 20
    Cumbrian on 17 Apr 2015 #

    Well, in my opinion, Vaughan is not totally wrong to be sceptical – though he would be best off asking Ed to put a compilation together for him, as Ryan’s best tunes are spread far and wide across a discography that is needlessly long. He’s done about 4 or 5 albums worth of good material I reckon – just spread over 12 or so – which is his main problem. At his best, I’ve got a lot of time for him though – Heartbreaker, Love Is Hell and the recent self titled are probably his most consistent listens, though the highs on some of the other records are higher.

    I would not describe Ryan as folk rock. His latest album is mostly Tom Petty. So just rock then. Most of the things people identify him with I would describe as country. Then there’s things like 1984 and Orion which are pastiche of punk and metal respectively.

    It’s odd that England stand a very good chance of winning this match and I have rarely been as underwhelmed by a performance where they have essentially been on top since the end of Day 1. The drama over Cook and Pietersen and the management speak of the coaching staff have really soured me on the current team. I’d get rid of Cook, Trott and Moores, find some talented young opening batsmen (including one who can give it some biff), make Root captain, get Moeen back in the team and tell them to have some fun.

  21. 21
    Mark M on 17 Apr 2015 #

    I’ve only heard of smidgen of Adams’ vast output, none of which has tempted me to listen any more. From the stuff I am familiar with, he’s never been country enough for my purposes. Tom Petty seems like a useful point of comparison – rock with a dab of rootsiness, although I’m aware of his more random excursions.

    As for the cricket itself, there is an awful lot of noise around England at the moment, it’s true. I’d been hoping they would give a Rashid a go in this match, but was not to be. It’s looking like the West Indies are going to hang in for the draw – bad for England, but good for cricket.

  22. 22
    Cumbrian on 18 Apr 2015 #

    I wouldn’t dare try to convince you to listen to more Ryan Adams; if you’ve tried some and don’t like it, best to leave it there. I would say much of Heartbreaker’s best stuff is country though – Come Pick Me Up, Oh My Sweet Carolina, Bartering Lines – and I think this album is the one that people think of when it comes to him. Then there’s stuff like Jacksonville City Nights and the other Cardinals output which is slathered with pedal steel, so I think he’s got more than a bit of country in him. He is someone who tries a lot of things on though – Cold Roses has stuff on it that’s a bit Grateful Dead. His most Tom Petty ish stuff is probably his last album – and I think he could be an interesting person to write for other people (Trouble and Am I Safe would have been good sung by Stevie Nicks for instance, I think).

    Whilst I am not a fan of the current regime, I was disappointed with how Rashid’s figures panned out in the warm ups against a weak side. The management couldn’t include him, judging by those figures and the reports on the match. I’d love to see him come through though – have seen home a couple of times at county level and think he looks promising. Anything that breaks up the cosy public school boy cliques that characterise the current side would be great, in my view.

  23. 23
    Mark M on 19 Apr 2015 #

    Re22: ‘I wouldn’t dare try to convince you to listen to more Ryan Adams’
    – I can’t tell whether this refers to your reluctance to dabble in musical evangelism, a particular quality to Adams that means he’s a unacquirable taste or the possibility that I come across as more than commonly grumpy and close-minded…

  24. 24
    Cumbrian on 19 Apr 2015 #

    Of those three, mostly one (you’ve already tried him out for a start, and unless someone wants a recommendation I am not one for doling out advice on what to listen to) and a bit of two (he makes too much music of inconsistent qualities for him to be someone that you can fall into easily, I think, such that you could listen to several albums and think they’re all average at best because of the lack of a quality control).

    Three is a non-starter for me. I don’t know you, so ascribing personal traits to you wasn’t something I was intending. Apologies.

  25. 25
    Mark M on 19 Apr 2015 #

    Re24: No need for apologies, I was just curious.

  26. 26
    Mark M on 1 Aug 2015 #

    Swann confirms that ‘Aggers knows nothing about music.’ Although as the context is the recent visit of Marcus Mumford to the TMS box, ignorance is surely bliss in this case.

    Yesterday, on the third and final day of the hyper-accelerated Edgbaston test, they had the bass player from Muse in, but I missed it what with being at work and all. I don’t like Muse, but have long-standing connections to Muse’s hometown (making them possibly the only contemporary rock band my father is aware of), so would have been vaguely interested to hear it…

  27. 27
    Mark M on 11 May 2016 #

    RIP Tony Cozier.

  28. 28
    Mark M on 29 May 2016 #

    They’re dabbling in high culture: Geoffrey turns out (unexpectedly) to be a ballet enthusiast, but doesn’t like Swan Lake because it’s too sad.

  29. 29
    Mark M on 29 May 2016 #

    Michael Vaughan – the TMS regular most eager to show that he knows what time it is culturally – mentions ‘the Will Grigg’s on fire song’.
    (See the DJ Otzi thread for more on that chant).

  30. 30
    Mark M on 11 Mar 2017 #

    Relatively new TMS folk Charles Dagnall (who I’m not sure about) and Ebony Rainford-Brent (definitely a good thing) were chatting about Michael Jackson. Dagnall volunteered that he had been to the Thriller stage show, and then got a bit shifty when EJRB asked him whether it was any good. Bit puzzled about that.

  31. 31
    Mark M on 28 May 2017 #

    I chanced across a much earlier TMS pop moment on the radio yesterday – a fragment of a David Essex interview (from 1989, I think). Johnners asks DE to sing a song from Evita (I think it’s Oh What A Circus) and then Johnners joins in doing trumpet noises. I’m fairly sure none of the current crew would attempt such a feat, and that’s surely a good thing.

  32. 32
    Mark M on 28 Aug 2017 #

    So Harry Judd, whose interview on TMS helped trigger Pete’s original post, was arguably pop’s sole representative at the TMS 60th anniversary celeb + veterans match (there was also that ex-Blazin’ Squadder who was on Love Island, but his fame is essentially reality-show-derived*). Judd made 33, with batters obliged to retire when they had passed 30, in a losing effort.

    Meanwhile, Aggers has made the entirely unsurprising declaration that he is a Gilbert & Sullivan man.

    *Radio 1 DJ Greg James was man of the match.

  33. 33
    Mark M on 27 May 2018 #

    A brief change of sport, if you’ll allow me. To Kiev, where Radio 5 Live’s crew – Kelly Cates, Mark ‘Lawro’ Lawrenson, Chris ‘The Waddler’ Waddle*, Alan Green and John Murray – were being collectively baffled by Dua Lipa’s performance before the Champions League final. One of them (Murray?) spelled out her name for the others – and got it wrong (an extra ‘p’). Lawro wondered what had happened to the promised Sean Paul, and was informed he had been on stage. Green was stereotypically apoplectic. Cates – ‘I’m as much of a Dua Lipa fan as the next person’ – was the only one who had a clue, despite protesting that she too is old.

    (I mean, I agree with them that random pop star isn’t a particularly useful warm-up for a football match).

    *Briefly a pop star himself, of course.

  34. 34
    Mark M on 9 Jun 2019 #

    Cricket World Cup time again, and Michael Vaughan stays dutifully on brand when suggesting a hard rock band the guitarist at The Oval resembles – Sheffield’s Def Leppard, of course.

    Meanwhile, Tuffers is baffling Prakash Wakankar, who seems blissfully ignorant of both football and 1980s British pop culture, by trying to explain Glenn & Chris’ Diamond Lights… (Tuffers is a fan).

  35. 35
    Mark M on 3 Aug 2019 #

    Today’s lunchtime guest on TMS was Lily’s dad Keith, introduced by a blast of Vindaloo. Turns out that as well as his more famous interventions in pop, Keith was a member of Rough Trade’s cricket team, the Old Roughians. The only other performer I can find mention of having played for them was the Go-Betweens’ Grant McLennan, although Joe Strummer was apparently their biggest fan.

    Anyway, the interview was conducted by Dan Norcross, who very familiar with Allen’s varied career. And reading Pete’s original post and the comments that have followed over the years, it’s clear something has changed. Because 12 years ago, TMS and pop did indeed seem an odd mix. This absolutely was not a generation gap thing – Christopher Martin-Jenkins was younger than Mick Jagger, and Jonathan Agnew was born a couple of years after Madonna – but one of culture.
    Nor was it universal then – as we’ve learnt, Boycott, the oldest current regular, is a proud (real) pop fan, and Mike Selvey was a classic ’70s figure (he describes himself as ‘guitar hero’ in his Twitter biog). But now Aggers really does seem to stand alone in the TMS world in his lack of pop cultural fluency (or maybe he’s just bypassed the pop era and gone straight to the social media one) – there’s no such clueless avuncularity to be had from Tuffers, let alone Isa Guha or Graeme Swann or, alas, Michael Vaughan.

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