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Henry Blofeld reviewed

Published: 12 Jul 2012 10:300 comments

On Sunday, July 1, I wandered down to Maidenhead's arts centre for an afternoon of cricketing capers from a member of commentating royalty.

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l Henry Blofeld at Norden Farm Centre For The Arts, Maidenhead

Henry Blofeld and his Shaken Not Stirred tour bowled into town and 'Blowers' certainly delivered with his near two-hour talk and audience question/answer special.

As a twenty-something-year-old female with an embarassingly small knowledge of cricket, I'm sure he was just as surprised to see me in the 70-strong audience as I was to be there. However, my father's love of cricket and a small family connection to Ian Fleming, inspired me to go down.

With all the gusto of the finest batsman, he rattled through his entertaining anecdotes at the perfect pace in his charmingly clipped accent.

He touched on his rather successful time playing cricket for Eton College, before a rather unfortunate 28 days in hospital threw him a curve ball and put an end to that sporting endeavour. He recounted his childhood spent under the ever-watchful eye of his stoic Edwardian parents and unveiled the mystery of how his surname became so synonymous with Ian Fleming's Bond series. His memories of The Queen Mother's wit, love of a tipple or two and remarkable attention to detail entertained and his encounters with legendary writer Noel Coward raised an eyebrow or two.

His experiences from the commentating box at Lord's, Test Match Special, and off the pitch with the legends of the sport of gentlemen were a pleasure to hear.

He answered questions from the audience and took time to speak to and sign merchandise for his adoring fans.

In his 70s, you might think it time he gave himself some well-deserved time off. But with a magical glint in his eye throughout, I know he has more to tell and many 'dear old things' waiting to hear him.

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