Read by Jonathan Agnew with a foreword read by the magnificent Stephen Fry with surprise contributions from Jonathan's test-match special colleagues!
Perfect for cricket fans everywhere, Thanks Johnners is a warm and witty tribute to Brian Johnston and his time at the helm of Test Match Special.
The Test Match Special on-air incident, in which Jonathan Agnew's comment on Ian Botham's attempt to avoid stepping on his stumps - "He just couldn't quite get his leg over" - provoking prolonged fits of giggles, most notably from Brian Johnston, has been voted the greatest piece of sporting commentary ever.
The friendship between "Aggers" and "Johnners" became immortalised through that broadcasting classic, but there was a far deeper bond between the two men, as this fascinating book reveals.
Jonathan Agnew had grown up to the sound of Johnston, Arlott, and a young Martin-Jenkins et al on TMS as he followed his father around on the family farm, ear glued to the transistor radio, but the two men met formally only when Agnew joined the BBC team at Headingley in 1991. Thus began a great working partnership which, fuelled by a mutual passion for the noble game, bridged the generation gap and ended only with Johnston's sudden death in 1994. As this book demonstrates so convincingly, Johnners's wit, warmth and sense of fun was a feature not only of his cricket commentaries, but also in the way he lived his life. His influence on "Aggers" is clearly recognisable in the same amiable and informal manner in which his successor presents Test Match Special today.
Thanks, Johnners is a rich blend of biography and anecdote, of antics and dramas on and off the pitch, in and out of the commentary box, filled with stories about the great names of cricket, including Fred Trueman, Geoffrey Boycott, Vivian Richards, Michael Holding, and Ian Botham. Just as TMS is the sound of summer, so Thanks, Johnners is the fresh breeze rippling the long grass of remembered pleasures.
©2010 Jonathan Agnew (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
Johnners! how can anyone not love him. A British institution, a loveble character but above all, the voice of TMS.
Here we get an insight behind the scenes of Test Match Special.
The controversy, the fun and the rigors of putting the program together.
This is not just a book about Johnners though, Agnew goes into detail of his own career and also other presenters of TMS.
A very good listern for lovers of the program and also cricket.
Superb account narrated by Aggers himself.
I loved all the anecdotes of TMS box tomfoolery
Wish there were more people in world like Aggers and Johnners, the world would be a better place.
NOT, as I had hoped, 100 humourous recollections of Brian Johnson.
Rather; jolly recollections interspersed with criticism of Johnners and all involved at TMS. It then descends into "100 things wrong with the modern game". T20, DRS, no good commentators coming through, South African playing for England etc etc.
I did get a sense of the jolly atmosphere of TMS - as one gets on the radio. But there was just so much moaning! Aggers has used his book to complain about things that, as a neutral BBC man, he cannot do on air. Shame
Jonathan Agnew's book and reading remind me of those days when, like many others, I sat watching Test Matches on telly with the sound turned down and listening to Test Match Special. To hear classics like "He couldn't get his leg over" and the ensuing snorts, giggles and cries of "Oh, Aggers, stop it" as well as the stories that Johnners would never tell, like World War 2, remind us fans of why he was so special to us. For those who love cricket and the characters who helped foster that love, this book is a must. It is told in a way that tells his life and achievements as well as showing him as a family man and bon vivant. Sadly it seems we won't see his like again (with apologies to Henry Blofeld and Geoff Boycott).
I prefer audiobooks read by the author, as it brings a new perspective to the narrative. This is no exception - Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) reads his book in an entertaining way, and the stories and anecdotes provide an interesting insight into the world of Aggers, Johnners and TMS. Not rip-roaring, but definitely worth a listen!
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