Inside the Box: My Life with Test Match Special
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A celebration of three decades of cricket and a unique insight into the world of radio and broadcasting. Test Match Special is both a sporting and broadcasting institution that has become synonymous with the British summertime. Since its first live broadcast back in 1957 it has proudly lived up to its original slogan 'Don't miss a Ball, we broadcast them all'. During much of this time the man behind the scenes was Peter Baxter and here, in this wonderful memoir, he recalls the best moments and characters from his privileged perspective inside the commentary box.
Throughout this period, Peter Baxter worked alongside the legendary John Arlott, the inimitable Brian Johnston and the unforgettable Henry Blofield and ushered in new faces, such as Jonathan Agnew, who continue to entertain, inform and charm listeners today.
This is the personal, touching and at times, hilariously funny, account of the producer's time 'inside the box'.
Peter Baxter has spent a lifetime in radio broadcasting, including thirty four years as producer of Test Match Special. Peter Baxter retired from broadcasting June 19th, 2007.
Some praise for Inside the Box:
'Excellent memoir... roistering tales of tour exploits'. Independent on Sunday
'From the first page of this delightful memoir we're transported into a world of chocolate cakes, jolly pranks and "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey". 'Bartex', as he was invariably known, was there for it all, and this affectionate recollection is the next best thing to being in the commentary box... for any lover of the summer game, this humorous and affectionate account is an unmissable read'. Daily Mail
'His memoir is as witty and engaging as you would expect - a lovely insight into the nation's most soothing institution'. The Observer
'... this book is wonderful. All the larger than life characters we know and love are revealingly described... numerous previously untold tales of their exploits are divulged'. All Out Cricket
offering significantly higher fees than BBC Radio. With his absence from the commentary team attracting its usual crop of queries and protests, Johnners said to me that he felt we really ought to say something by way of explanation. I said rather stuffily that I did not feel we should be giving Sky a plug. ‘Don’t worry,’ said Brian. ‘I’m sure I can get round that.’ What he actually said on the air, to those who were wondering what had happened to Blowers, was fairly cryptic. ‘He’s gone,
best behaviour throughout both the Tests on which he commentated in that series. All commentators get criticism, as well as praise, in the listeners’ comments that come in by letter and, these days, much more by email. The loves and hates even out to an extraordinary degree. During the second half of that 1994 season the return of Henry Blofeld received only praise. I had expected a degree of vilification for having brought him back, but it simply did not come. Every correspondent was delighted,
subsequently missed both of them at times. The new ‘Trevor and Fred’ became Vic Marks and Mike Selvey. The best England tour that I went on did not have the most promising of beginnings. For a start, I was not too keen to go on it. I had previously toured India with Don Mosey, and then Australia, where the enjoyment of that country had been slightly dampened by an antagonistic sports editor at the London end. Now I would miss my daughter’s first birthday and her first Christmas, for three
enemy had hit back. Glenn McGrath had taken five of them. Interestingly, a young man was still in overnight for England. He was playing his first Test match, having appeared in a handful of one-day internationals. His name was Kevin Pietersen. For all the unpromising situation, Pietersen relished the moment on the second morning, as he took on McGrath, hitting him for a straight six and driving through cover for four and a half-century. As Aggers said in his commentary, ‘You can only say
and indeed the message was for me. Over a quarter of a century later, I am often greeted, and written to, as ‘Bartex’. The Calcutta Test match on that tour gave rise to one small incident when Don said in his commentary, as fruit was being thrown at England’s deep fielders by the spectators, that he did not know why they were wasting oranges in a country where there was meant to be a level of starvation. This was picked up by the Guardian newspaper back in Britain and caused us a sticky couple