Famous cricket broadcaster Henry Blofeld to open the batting with his one-man show at Scunthorpe Plowright Theatre
HENRY Blofeld, star of BBC cricket commentary Test Match Special, is bringing his "Shaken, Not Stirred" show to the Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe on Friday, March 1.
Ever since his debut in the commentary box back in 1973, "Blowers", as he is affectionately known, has been a permanent fixture on the radio.
But it is his experiences and anecdotes from both in and out of the commentary box that make up his show.
Speaking of his appearance, the 73-year-old said: "One thing I want to stress is that the show is not about cricket.
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"Anyone interested in comedy will enjoy it.
"There is no cricket in the show apart from how it has touched me.
"It is comedy based on my life story, with all the amusing stories and anecdotes from all the interesting people that I have met.
"I talk about my home life, I had quite a tough life as my parents were fierce disciplinarians.
"I went away to boarding school at seven-and-a-half and got kicked out of Cambridge University."
Asked why his show was named after the well-known James Bond catchphrase, he said it dated back to his father's time at Eton College.
Blowers' father, Thomas Blofeld, studied alongside Bond creator Ian Fleming and it is believed his name was the inspiration behind the James Bond supervillain, Ernst Stavro Blofeld, famously played by Donald Pleasence, who was brought up in Scunthorpe.
He has been touring the show for around a year and says it has been well received by the audiences he has performed in front of.
He said: "People often ask me how different getting up on stage and performing is to Test Match Special (TMS). But this is something I have been doing since 2001.
"The answer is that it is not that different.
"I have been used to talking to people for 45 years.
"The audiences are a lot different.
"On TMS, although you are talking to two or three million people, you never get any audience reaction. But it all comes with confidence."
It is Blowers' unique commentary that has brought him many fans – many enjoying his anecdotes and his idiosyncratic descriptions of the often peculiar surroundings that make up the game of cricket.
His plummy accent has commentated on more than 500 games of cricket over the years, overseeing some of the most-dramatic scenes the sport has to offer.
It was while writing about cricket in 1972, he said it "transpired" that his voice and "descriptive style" would be perfect for the radio.
Following two trials during two one-day international games in 1973, Blowers was snapped up by the BBC.
When asked about his style of commentary, he said: "I think it is terribly important to be able to step over the boundary and see the humour of sport as everything is better in life when you laugh.
"I believe that work is more fun than fun, as Noel Coward said.
"My life in the commentary box has been lots of fun and I have met lots of brilliant people.
"We were always pulling each other's leg. It is very, very fun, full of humour."
He recited a time when he was passed an e-mail from Hugh Garse to read out on air, with the commentators always trying to catch each other out with pranks.
As well as his comedy work, Blowers is committed to 10 test matches each year and is scheduled to commentate on four this summer.
He said: "I am 73 and I am working harder than ever."
He said picking out highlights from his commentating career was difficult, but a few came to the forefront of his mind.
He cited the 1981 Ashes game between England and Australia as the best match he had ever commentated on.
England's victory in India last year that secured their first series win since the tour of 1984-85 was also a memorable highlight.
Blowers also said England's tour to the West Indies in 1967-68 was "some of the most exciting cricket I can remember".
Speaking with great passion about England's dramatic victory over Australia at Edgbaston in 2005 and looking ahead to back-to-back Ashes series this year, Blowers said: "It is always nice to beat the Aussies."
Tickets, priced £17, are on sale from the Plowright Theatre box office on 0844 8542776 or visit www.scunthorpetheatres.co.uk