Inside the Box: My Life with Test Match Special

Test Match Special is not merely the BBC's radio commentary on Test cricket: it is a programme that has become an institution since its inception in 1957: sometimes most entertaining when no cricket is taking place, and Rain Stops Play leads to hours of the most informed, witty, nostalgic and often hilarious conversation between cricketing greats past and present. Peter Baxter first worked on the programme in 1966, and produced it from 1973 until 2007, and now he has written a delightful memoir of his time in broadcasting. Here, then, from the privileged position of inside the box are priceless memories and stories of all Test Match Special's legendary participants over the years: John Arlott, Brian Johnston, Fred Trueman, as well as current incumbents like Henry Blofeld and Jonathan Agnew - who contributes the Foreword. On the one hand here is the hilarity of Botham's Legover and the endless succession of chocolate cakes sent in by devoted listeners, but on the other here is the inside story of a genuine broadcasting institution that has survived, mutated and matured over no less than fifty years. A top-selling hardback, this is one of the most readable cricket books of recent years, with its potential readership everyone who turns in to TMS. Peter Baxter retired from the BBC in 2007 after more than 40 years on Test Match Special. He is a frequent after-dinner speaker.