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Princess Theatre hosts opening night of Test Match Special presenter's first UK tour

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REVIEW: An Evening With Jonathan Agnew, Princess Theatre, Hunstanton

Hunstanton was hosting the opening night of Jonathan Agnew’s first UK solo tour, the Test Match Special presenter told us when arriving onstage on Sunday (Sept 16).

The BBC correspondent of cricket (and other sports including Olympic equestrian and archery, as he revealed via audio and visual clips which peppered the performance) wasn’t sure how it would pan out, but he needn’t have worried.

Jonathan Agnew (3730151)
Jonathan Agnew (3730151)

The appreciative Princess crowd ensured ‘Aggers’ got off the mark successfully with plenty of cheeky singles: anecdotes from figures who helped the Leicestershire pace bowler’s own playing career. For example, he related the tale of coach Alf Gover, who guided Agnew as a teenager, battling with dysentery on a tour of India.

Agnew admitted himself, he was simply a solid pro but played clips of him dismissing West Indian greats Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards during the handful of England caps he received. He also relates encounters with Margaret Thatcher (“not a clue about cricket”) and Geoffrey Boycott (more of him later).

However his journalistic career, which took in local radio mishaps and tabloid hackery at the Today newspaper, comprises most of the show and is what most people associate him with.

Aggers worked with a host of broadcasting greats: Brian Johnston and Richie Benaud, plus definitive commentator characters Fred Trueman and, of course, Boycott. The Yorkshire legend and his ‘stick of rhubarb’ gets the most attention. My favourite story is when musician Alice Cooper visits the TMS studio with his wife.

“Hello, Geoffrey, this is Alice Cooper.”

“Hello, love,” Boycott greets the rock icon’s wife.

The warmth of Agnew’s delivery came over the most, something which would charm even non-sports fans.

Peter Woodhouse

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