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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 10:17 GMT 11:17 UK
Famous Fan: Paul Blackthorne
Paul signs a bat at a recent Sport Relief event
Paul signs a bat at a recent Sport Relief event
Actor Paul Blackthorne, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film about cricket, Lagaan, talks about his love of the game.

Paul has also appeared in BBC dramas Holby City and Jonathan Creek.


He is the latest figure under the spotlight for our Famous Fan feature.


Q: What is your first cricketing memory?

A: I remember when Somerset came to play a charity in a village nearby us.

The big three were there, Garner, Richards and Botham, and I remember looking up at Joel and asking: 'Can I have your autograph?'

Joel Garner thrilled Blackthorne as a child
Joel Garner thrilled Blackthorne as a child

He seemed so huge - I must have been about nine.

At about the same time I remember listening to Botham in the famous Headingley Test against Australia in 1981 on my radio.

But the first big game I can remember going to see was one of the Ashes Tests in the summer of 1985.


Q: Who is your favourite player to watch these days?

A: A couple of years ago Andrew Flintoff had problems with his back and his weight. I remember thinking he's got to do it one day. It's great that he's coming into his own now.

And I also admire the way Trescothick has gone from barely being a county cricketer to looking like a seasoned pro on the Test circuit.


Q: Do you watch much cricket these days?

A: I hop down to the Oval now and then, but I don't go there as much as I like. It is definitely my favourite ground. I love the vista and the fact people can watch cricket from their balconies outside the ground.


Q: How much cricket do you play?

A: I've never really played that much over the years, more the odd game here or there.

Warming-up before a recent stint for charity
Warming-up before a recent stint for charity

But in Lagaan a lot of the guys who played the England cricketers were all good at cricket - I was the worst but I was supposed to be the star batsman.

After three-and-a-half months I started getting a lot better and I have been playing a bit more for various teams since then.


Q: How can cricket compete with football for box-office appeal?

A: Whatever anyone says about the one-day game, it does a lot to make cricker more appealing.

It is sort of popcorn cricket, but if that encourages more people to go on and see Test matches then it's got to be good thing.

Personally, however, I don't think think you can ever beat Test cricket.

See also:

09 Jul 02 | Cricket
24 Oct 01 | Cricket
09 Oct 01 | Cricket
18 Jul 00 | Cricket
10 Jul 00 | Cricket
Internet links:


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