Panesar hunting Ashes berth
In the first two weeks of the Phil Tufnell Cricket Show (Wednesday nights at 2000 BST on BBC Radio 5 Live), we have learnt that James Anderson does a great Alan Hansen impression, Alastair Cook had a secret crush on a girl called Tina at school, and Tuffers' retirement from cricket was hastened by a slice of processed ham.
We have also had excellent cricket chat with Aussie broadcaster Jim Maxwell, Geoff Lawson, the former Australia fast bowler and ex-coach of Pakistan, and ex-England players Mark Butcher and Graeme Hick. Mark brought his guitar in for the first show and would have had Tuffers and I waving lighters in the studio had fire regulations allowed it.
If you have missed any of the fun, you can listen back to each show via the BBC iPlayer website.
The first show featured an in-depth interview with Muttiah Muralitharan in the build-up to his final Test match. He spoke about how much he would like to reach the magic 800 wicket milestone, a goal he achieved in dramatic fashion on the final day of the Test against India in Galle.
Murali also revealed his belief that although he finishes his career with the record number of Test wickets, his long-term rival Shane Warne was always the more knowledgeable cricketer of the two.
Monty Panesar's first season at Sussex has been a steady one
This week Monty Panesar chatted to me as we sat in his car, parked on the boundary of Coggeshall CC in the Essex countryside, where he was playing for Sussex 2nd XI.
It was a far cry from where he found himself a year ago, batting heroically to save a dramatic opening Ashes Test in Cardiff. But Monty was on fine form and in such a relaxed situation his personality came out much more than in most previous interviews.
Gesticulating constantly with those enormous hands of his, he presented an impassioned case as to why he should make the plane for this winter's Ashes. He described how he and Graeme Swann could be a perfect pairing, replicating the success of off-spinner John Emburey and left-armer Phil Edmonds in Australia in 1986-87.
He talked about batting at number three and fielding at backward point for Bexhill CC, the club in the Sussex League who he has been playing for during the Friends Provident t20 competition. He spoke of his awe for Sachin Tendulkar (his first dismissal in Test cricket) and the terms of endearment and respect he uses for the great man whenever the phone rings. Yes, Sachin is in Monty's mobile.
He also recalled the moment he first saw a patka, mask and beard being worn in the crowd as his cult status grew. However, he was quick to point out that while the support of the fans is hugely important to him, his focus is on trying to rediscover his old self and the joy of bowling to get back into the England squad.
So how far away is Monty from the Ashes trip? He has not been on an England tour since the Caribbean in early 2009 and by then Graeme Swann had already taken over as first-choice spinner following a successful Test debut in India.
James Tredwell and Adil Rashid are officially above Panesar in the pecking order for the second spinner's slot, having been named in England's performance squad for this summer. However neither has had much chance to make an impact, which might just leave the door ajar should Panesar have a storming end to the season.
However, Sussex coach Mark Robinson told us that Panesar should not be rushing to get back into the international fold.
"This goal of his to get it back as quickly as he can is dangerous," he said. "He's got to find himself again. What we're working hard on with Monty is to forget England to a degree, get back to being that smiling person, that bloke who had fun with the crowd and with his team-mates, who met each wicket with a massive celebration.
"That's the guy we want back, and in the last three or four weeks he's certainly come to terms a lot more with himself."
Monty has taken stick in the past for both his fielding and his batting, despite that heroic blocking in Cardiff and the crowd-pleasing six he hit off Murali during the Trent Bridge Test of 2006. But the biggest criticism has been the inability to think for himself and set his own fields - and Robinson says that problem continues.
"Monty will never be able to completely set his own fields and do his own thinking. But what he will be is a top-class spinner who can get the ball up and down and spin it hard. If he relaxes on his fielding and stays switched on, he's as safe a fielder as anyone, and his batting is only going to go one way."
A half-century for Bexhill before he left will certainly have encouraged the 28-year-old. In the County Championship he has taken a solid 26 wickets in nine matches for Sussex. The ball was coming out beautifully when he appeared against Worcestershire recently in a Clydesdale Bank 40 fixture.
Rashid is having a strong season and is probably favourite to take the second spin-bowling position on the plane to Australia, but Monty's race is on.
The Phil Tufnell Cricket Show is on Wednesday nights from 2000-2130 BST during 5 live Sport.