Monday, 1 August 2011

Geoffrey Boycott apologises to Aggers

I wonder how many people have ever received an apology from Sir Geoffrey Boycott, resident loon in the Test Match Special commentary box.

Fiery has something of a reputation for being a combative character, which is, of course, a euphemism for narky old fruitloop, but we've always had a soft spot for Geoffrey.

The man's mischievous mirth, particularly at the misfortune of others, is a delight to behold, particularly in his partnership with Aggers on TMS - an unlikely due that put one in mind of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon.

The best example of Boycott's spiteful hooting is the famous 'Bad luck you Aussies!' - a sound clip I'd gladly have as a ringtone.

The second Test against India at Trent Bridge, however, brought forth a completely different side of Boycs, who apologised to an astonished, and clearly rather touched, Agnew for being 'too forceful' in his commentary on Bell's run out that wasn't the previous day.

I didn't hear it - I expect Fiery called Aggers an idiot or something similar - but have been delighting in this peculiar, rather lovely exchange on the radio all day.

There's a wonderful lack of side to Boycott, especially evident in his gauche apology to Agnew, whom he addresses bashfully as his "best friend". Agnew is so taken aback he can initially manage a simple "...Geoffrey," like a colleague on the receiving end of a passionate, if somewhat unexpected, emotional confession.

And there they are - the words probably every single person who has ever met the man has failed to elicit.

"I'm sorry."

Normal service is soon resumed with some spluttering laughter - and it ends with an amusing observation from Aggers that "it's Yorkshire day as well," - completing the image of Boycott and Agnew as a pair of old bachelors in a parallel world version of Radio 4 comedy series The Shuttleworths.

I think that's how we all like to imagine these ridiculous fellows, perhaps in some sort of nursing home with a shed at the bottom of the garden, from which they somehow manage to broadcast to Radio 4 Longwave. One pouring tea, another cutting cake. Tufnell round the back smoking a rollie.

It's 30 seconds that encapsulates TMS beautifully. Funny and touching. And quite, quite mad.