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Last Updated: Sunday, 30 November, 2003, 14:51 GMT
Blowers calls the tune
Cricket is a team game, both on the pitch and in the Test Match Special commentary box.

But Henry Blofeld was forced to go it alone when he revealed his Desert Island Discs to Radio Four listeners.

Henry Blofeld
I taught Nanny to bowl underarm at me on the croquet lawn
Henry Blofeld

Blowers got a nasty shock when Sue Lawley revealed the island would be bereft of alcohol.

"I didn't think you would have the temerity to send me to a desert island that didn't have a well-stocked cellar," he protested.

His remark came after he revealed a hilarious moment on Test Match Special when he was made to carry two heavy briefcases up to the commentary box for legendary fellow broadcaster John Arlott.

Blowers recalled: "Arlo advanced upon the table smiling like Wellington when he left Waterloo for the last time.

"He opened the first briefcase, took out six bottles of claret, opened the second one and took out glasses and two corkscrews.

"Then he said 'That little lot should see us through to lunch'."

For his Desert Island Discs, Blowers chose a selection of old-time hits, including Noel Coward, Gilbert and Sullivan and Maurice Chevalier.

One of his records is the Eton Boating Song and he describes his five years there as the happiest of his life.

His chosen book is P.G. Wodehouse's A Pelican at Blandings.

"When I think about it most of my life has been as close to the Bertie Wooster experience as I can get," he admits.

Sir Garfield Sobers
Blowers names Sir Garfield Sobers as his favourite player of all time

In some detail he describes the horrific injury he suffered aged 17 which prevented him playing the game at the highest level.

Either side of that, he nevertheless managed to hit two centuries at Lord's before entering the media after an abortive career in the City.

His chillhood was a privileged, happy affair.

"I taught Nanny to bowl underarm at me on the croquet lawn," he tells Lawley who is forced to control her giggles.

"I used to slog her into the bramble bushes and poor old Nanny used to go in and find it while I ran 28 in singles."

Blowers' father was at school with James Bond author Ian Fleming.

Remarkably, the infamous Bond baddie Blofeld is named after him.

Blowers says: "Ian was writing Thunderball when he went to the London club Boodle's.

"When he saw the membership list and saw Blofeld he didn't look any further."

Blowers' Desert Island luxury is a photo album filled with pictures of all his friends and family.

You can listen once again to Blowers' musical selection on Friday 5 December at 0902 GMT.



Links to more Test Match Special stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Henry Blofeld
"We always got fed on champagne by our listeners"



LIFE IN THE BOX
The TMS team reveal all
 


SEE ALSO
Henry Blofeld
03 May 03  |  Presenter profiles
Blowers' big day out
09 May 03  |  Test Match Special
A breeze for Blowers
16 Jan 03  |  Test Match Special


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