Last year, Test Match Special's Henry Blofeld reached 70 not out and celebrated with 2500 guests at the Royal Albert Hall. This DVD is a more low-key affair, but contains some cracking anecdotes on his colourful life.
Having survived a heart bypass operation a decade ago, there have been some rumblings in the Press Box that 'Blowers' should leave the crease now while he is still affectionately remembered. But as the man himself once said: "I scrambled around, but I got there in the end." Part of his innate charm is the quintessentially English style he brings to this recording.
Blofeld has enjoyed a sell-out national tour as well and while his error-strewn ramblings might jar with some who think the art of commentary is a science, it is a sheer joy to hear him in such fine fettle. What makes the performance all the more rounded is that it is not purely based on his cricket connections. The family jewels are rich in history and celebrity.
He enjoyed an Edwardian upbringing, although the description of his mother as "seventy per cent Attila the Hun" would not be placed in the most idyllic memories of a childhood spent on Norfolk Broads. The man can be caustic, but there might be good reason for that. Educated at Eton, he was selected as captain for the college in 1957, but was hit by a bus while cycling to the ground. Subsequently unconscious in hospital for 28 days, this unfortunate accident "did nothing for my cricket career" he recounts wryly.
He subsequently recalls going into the writing profession, working as an assistant alongside the legendary broadcaster and scribe E. W Swanton. Blofeld found Swanton rather pompous, especially on the occasion when he asked for a bit of ice in his whiskey. "There's no ice left" came the reply. "Do they know who's asking for it" snapped Swanton.
There are some terrific passages on his relationship with John Arlott, considered by many to be the best commentator ever. Blofeld remembers the great man with genuine affection, although his description of him as a man who lived "by suction" requires further explanation. Blowers recalls carrying two rather heavy briefcases for The Master on the morning of a Test match, which contained eleven vintage clarets and two corkscrews. Arlott suggested to his colleague: "That should keep us going until lunchtime."
As a raconteur, Blofeld has few equals when it comes to regaling with unexpected gems. His father went to school with 007 creator Ian Fleming, and the family name inspired Fleming to create Bond's famous adversary. He also enjoyed a dinner with another great eccentric, the famous playwright, composer, writer and singer Noel Coward who entranced the younger Henry with a selection of tunes, including "Mad Dogs and Englishmen." Such a scene isn't too hard to picture.
There are a couple of obvious errors here, including his referral to Chris Broad as a star for the future, but after a slow start, the overall feeling is one of warmth and affection for a man who obviously has a great thirst for life. Blofeld has made his plumby accent and inimitable style an integral part of TMS and while time will claim him eventually, his commentaries will surely contain many more my dear old things before stumps are drawn.
(Acorn Media, £16.69 www.acornmediauk.com)