Henry Blofiled in Conversation

MICHAEL DRAKE King's Lynn Arts Centre


That tearke a good ol' Norfik bor ta tal a tearle – not that Blowers, of Test Match Special fame, ever lapsed into the vernacular during a fascinating chat over a glass or two of wine with Radio Norfolk's Tony Mallion, sponsored by Morston Assets and listened to by a room full of “dear old things”, with at least one MCC tie on view.

The interview did not pose particularly searching questions but they were leading ones to start eloquent, flowing answers, and although many of the tales had been heard (many times) before, they did not pale because of that. Henry Blofeld got into radio cricket commentating because at the time entertaining broadcasters were the order of the day – and he is the epitome of entertainers with his vast range of knowledge of the sport and wonderful way with words.

Name-dropping was continuous but only because Blowers knows well all the people he brought into the conversation. Even Ian Fleming named his villain Blofeld after seeing the family name in a membership list.

There was a barbed wit, too, from this born raconteur coming up with stories like the blind pianist, George Shearing's passion for cricket and that Noel Coward sang Mad Dogs and Englishmen for him while a house guest in his Jamaican home. A Q&A session brought forth some very individual views but at the back of it all he divulged that his favourite occupation is probably duck shooting on the Broads, and he is apparently still deft at quanting. And entertaining.

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