There is so much more to Henry Blofeld than the cozy old Test Match Special commentary box. No one has lived life more to the full.
No one's views are more prickly and earth-shatteringly funny. The pompous, the politically correct, the prancing popinjays on every platform of life, are kicked unceremoniously into touch. 'Elf an Safety are shaken until the pips squeak.
Blowers' immortal namesake, Ernst Stavros Blofeld (the guy who strokes the White pussy in the Bond movies) may have been a figment of James Bond creator, Ian Fleming's imagination, but Blowers the Voice is flesh and blood fact. He may not say, “Mr Bond, you will die”, but his life has been fascinating and extraordinary. In 'Shaken, not Stirred' he reveals all, he lets us into all sorts of secrets at the same time as producing some powerful and irresistible name-dropping.
But first Blowers tells us about his upbringing in the family schloss which, when you think about what happens today, seems almost to take us back to the Middle Ages. Capital punishment was compulsory, parents and schoolmasters alike, were constantly ganging up against him as he lurched on a wholly unacademic pathway, from a governess, to a classy prep school and on to Eton and Cambridge. Of course he was born with a silver spoon up every aperture and, far from ashamed, he makes colossal fun of it.
He talks about his entry into the world of journalism and broadcasting with some great stories. There's some hysterical stuff from the Test Match Special commentary box, great stories of John Arlott, Brian Johnston and the others including the great Jim Swanton who was such a snob he refused to travel in the same car as his chauffeur.
The name-dropping starts in spades with Ian Fleming in Jamaica and The Master, Noel Coward. Dear old 'Don't panic, Captain Mainwaring', Clive Dunn is another of his friends. Then Lawrence Olivier and Alec Guinness get a mention. But perhaps the tour de force is a story he tells about the old family doctor, Dr Bennett. It's a guinea-a-minute and more than an hour and a half of uncomplicated fun and laughter which makes everyone feel a great deal better. By the end, the entire audience is both Shaken and Stirred and positively itching for more.
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