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Lily brings a smile to TMS

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Anna Thompson | 15:24 UK time, Saturday, 22 August 2009

In the past when Test Match Special was talking about a Lillee it would have been Dennis, the former Australia fast bowler who terrorised opposing batsmen in the 70s and early 80s.

But there was a new Lily hogging the airwaves during lunch in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval on Saturday - Lily Allen to be precise.

The singer had revealed to the nation through her prolific Twitter output that she was a fan of the game - and in particular England fast bowler Graham Onions (she was presented on air with a cricket book signed by him).

Fellow tweeter Jonathan Agnew got in touch with her and invited her on to the programme and she replied she "couldn't think of anything she would more like to do".

So after an overnight rock star-esque bus journey from a festival in the Netherlands (where one of her roadie crew managed to find TMS on the internet and wired it up to a speaker), Lily stopped off at The Oval en route to the V Festival at Chelmsford in Essex.

Lily with Aggers

We have all heard tales of her partying, fondness for swearing and "wardrobe malfunctions" - a phrase I bet Aggers had never used on TMS before - but the 24-year-old arrived without an entourage and there was no hint of celebrity about her.

In fact the only "diva" act she could be accused of was keeping her Ray-Ban shades on throughout the interview - but this was due to the fact she had not had much sleep and said she felt tired.

Chatting to her before she went on air, she admitted: "I'm a bit nervous, way more nervous than when I go on stage!" But she needn't have worried as she soon had the TMS crew smitten.

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Not surprisingly, the commentary box was busier than usual with Tuffers delaying his lunch so he could listen in and Jim Maxwell and CMJ hanging around too. Rachael Flintoff (Freddie's wife) appeared up as well and national press photographers were also allowed in to mark the occasion.

Dressed in a blue and white striped t-shirt, jeans and grey suede boots and without any make-up, Lily explained it was Flintoff's drunken exploits at Downing Street during the Ashes celebrations four years ago which prompted her to get more seriously into cricket.

But her father, actor Keith Allen, and brother Alfie are cricket nuts too and her dad used to play for pub teams so she grew up in a cricket-loving family.

We found out she is a Test purist - none of this Twenty20 nonsense - and enjoys a bit of sledging but wishes we could hear more of what is said out in the middle on TMS. Might need to bleep out most of the words though, Lily!

She also had a few words of advice for the ECB when planning future Ashes series. "I personally think it should be seven or nine matches. It should be all-out war over the summer," she joked.

Being the fashionista she is, Lily called for England's whites to be turned back to the old-fashioned creams and said we should have caps like the Aussies' baggy greens but made of vintage denim to make them look old...not a bad shout.

She summed up her love of Test cricket by saying: "It's such a polar opposite to what I do. It's so relaxing when my life is so fast."

And with that she headed off for an expectant 35,000 crowd in Essex - but planning to keep one ear on the cricket!

Comments

  • 1. At 4:08pm on 22 Aug 2009, *Syds_Sports wrote:

    The interview was wonderful, full of fun and illuminating little nuggets of info! Aggers to replace Michael Parkinson??

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  • 2. At 4:39pm on 22 Aug 2009, Stevie357 wrote:

    Wonder what would have happened if Blowers was there?

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  • 3. At 4:46pm on 22 Aug 2009, kafkafil wrote:

    Interviews with Lily Allen should be kept to brainless teen pop programmes and not for a full lunchtime on TMS. Her music's awful, she's awful, and I don't need to hear about which player she 'fancies'.

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  • 4. At 5:01pm on 22 Aug 2009, arthuratkinson wrote:

    blimey kafkafil, i bet you're a bundle of laughs when you're out

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  • 5. At 5:12pm on 22 Aug 2009, stainesy wrote:

    kafkafil comment is a bit harsh, its good that we have a wide varreity of guests who come on TMS, lily appeals to the younger generation who listen to TMS (also female listeners). she may not have a great knowledge of teh game but seems to be generally enthusiastic about a game which generally percieved as boring by people around the lily allen genertation. bit as curve ball but well done tms fantastic show and coverage.

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  • 6. At 5:24pm on 22 Aug 2009, Mark Robinson wrote:

    I'm afraid it's people like 'kafkafil' who keep cricket as an elitist 'hobby' - fair plair to TMS for a bit of variety...don't get me wrong, if every single programme was with a pop star I'd be furious, but the odd sprinkling of change never hurt anyone.

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  • 7. At 5:27pm on 22 Aug 2009, ricky66 wrote:

    weve had the sunny, funny Lily Allen, tomorrow let's now have the counterpoint...stroppy, angry kafkafil...

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  • 8. At 5:52pm on 22 Aug 2009, Matt - Keith Lambs No1 fan wrote:

    "she soon had the TMS crew smitten"

    I can't believe you passed up the opportunity to use the obligatory "bowled them over" pun Anna !!

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  • 9. At 6:03pm on 22 Aug 2009, whitchurchgavster wrote:

    Didnt hear the interview, but as others have said, nice to have variety, throughly interviewed the Stephen Fry interview during tea on thursday. Lily Allen / Stephen Fry - talk about the unifying spirit of cricket

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  • 10. At 6:05pm on 22 Aug 2009, lowfieldsStan wrote:

    kafkafil you must live inside a Franz Kafka novel. I normally am ambivalent about Lily Allen, her channel 4 music friends and her pretty bland music but she actually came over as nice, sweet even. Her dad still is Keith Allen though so cut her some slack.

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  • 11. At 7:00pm on 22 Aug 2009, Rugger-Tyke wrote:

    spot-on 'kafkafil' - it was excruciatingly embarassing, talk about a free advertisement!

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  • 12. At 7:18pm on 22 Aug 2009, Illumillama wrote:

    I actually thought she came across well, and as a result I even had the pleasure of my girlfriend listening to TMS for a while.

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  • 13. At 7:20pm on 22 Aug 2009, etienne123 wrote:

    What do you mean, 'Lillee' and then 'a new Lily'? They are two different names. Might work verbally but this isn't radio.

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  • 14. At 7:26pm on 22 Aug 2009, pixileen wrote:

    Didn't hear the interview but nevertheless I wonder if kafkafil thinks that cricket isn't for people like Lily. Or maybe just to people that are to his/her liking perhaps? I saw that The Oval was a full house today, don't suppose there were any Lily Allen types there...surely not?!

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  • 15. At 7:28pm on 22 Aug 2009, citizensweet wrote:

    who is this kafkafil?

    Nice one lily, didn't know that was your dad!
    Keep it up TMS

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  • 16. At 7:34pm on 22 Aug 2009, jovialmatty1111 wrote:

    i thoght she was good, nice interview. i mean she was better than most guests in my book she was funny and witty a hell of a lot better than stephan fry, i just wish it was blowers interviewing her tho.

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  • 17. At 7:44pm on 22 Aug 2009, poshnanex wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 7:45pm on 22 Aug 2009, MaidenGaGa wrote:

    I love TMS but View From the Boundary is normally fairly dull. Even Aggers cannot extract much entertainment from the typical guest, Lord Minted of Arms-Dealing, or the luvvie that isn't Martin Jarvis. I have to say that today's was particularly excruciating though. I don't mind Lily Allen and think that The Fear is a brilliant pop song, but giggling inanely throughout the interview and admitting she doesn't even know what extras are kind of gave the game away. Keep the likes of Lily on BBC Three interviewing Fatty Corden, and leave at least one bastion of intelligent broadcasting in this country sacrosanct. The Visigoths are at the gates.....

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  • 19. At 7:52pm on 22 Aug 2009, jhfgdsaw wrote:

    i think she is fit

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  • 20. At 8:08pm on 22 Aug 2009, moggs wrote:

    I'm old enough to be Lily's grandfather.I didn't hear the interview with Agnew,but I did see one of her video's recently,and I really liked her voice,it was cutesy(what an awful word,sorry about that),the song was a good one,not too many swear words,which I find indefensible.
    Overall,I thought she was O.K.
    I also thought she looked O.K.,and if I can say it at my age,very sexy!!!
    Now,as to her appearing on Test Match Special,I will leave that to others
    to debate,but I'd rather spend an evening in her company than, say, C.M.J,if you get my drift.

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  • 21. At 8:24pm on 22 Aug 2009, KJDerbyRule wrote:

    i don't see what some people have against her. shes funny, young, good-looking and enthusiastic about the great game. what more could you ask for

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  • 22. At 8:29pm on 22 Aug 2009, sits_on_the_fence wrote:

    it was a great interview, a bit of light hearted fun over lunch..

    agree with the parkinson comment..

    and to those bashing lily and tms for interviewing her, while u are entitled to ur opinion, u do need to get out a little more

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  • 23. At 8:40pm on 22 Aug 2009, yt wrote:

    Loved the interview.....love her music....the fact that she is also a Fulham supporter makes it even better:))))

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  • 24. At 8:48pm on 22 Aug 2009, nocricketWAG wrote:

    As a thirty something female cricket fan, I found it entertaining and refreshing for cricket coverage. She probably isn't everyone's cup of tea but getting young people interested in the game should only be encouraged and applauded. I grew up with a Yorkshire grandfather who was cricket-mad and being long retired then,did not move from the TV once the cricket began at 11am. I love the traditions, sportsmanship and skill of the game - as I won't pay to view on principle, I have discovered the fun and addictiveness of TMS on radio. Thanks for the hours of entertainment!

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  • 25. At 8:54pm on 22 Aug 2009, kenadams777 wrote:

    Personally i think she is an annoying, fame craving wanabe. Her music is dire and the persona she has created for herself is an ugly one. She did come across as bareable however today.

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  • 26. At 9:19pm on 22 Aug 2009, cricketbrooksby wrote:

    I'm old (65) but I found the interview great fun. Good old Aggers and good young Lily - a perfect duo. I'm sure that Blowers would have had a lot to add. I'd never heard of her before but now I'm going to download some of her songs on to my iPod - the ruder the better. Good on ya!

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  • 27. At 9:27pm on 22 Aug 2009, pedro wrote:

    The sniggering was a bit irritating and it was all froth but distracted from the tension of the game. Fonzerelli dreamin is better

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  • 28. At 9:31pm on 22 Aug 2009, Sputniuk wrote:

    Lily is fine. Remember when we were young and giggly? OK, she may not be an expert yet on Test cricket, but she has an interest, and seems genuinely pleased to have been asked on TMS; Im guessing this will spark her interest and enthusiasm even more; and yes, others will follow her lead. And, whilst not a fan of "celebredee" or overemphasis on bringing in "yoof culture", Test cricket can appear an anachronism to some when first seen, lacking (blessedly) the razmatazz of some other sports. I should know-I only became interested in cricket by seeing an ODI 12 years ago, but am now hooked on the subtlety of The Test...I do agree-in 4 years time, Blowers needs to interview Lily in Oz; oh for those two worlds to collide!

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  • 29. At 9:34pm on 22 Aug 2009, Perfectible wrote:

    65 isn't old! The interview was fun, I'm not a huge Lily Allen fan, but it was nice having a woman on the show. I love the atmosphere on TMS - a great combination of enthusiasm, knowledge, good humour and general niceness all around. Long may it reign!

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  • 30. At 9:37pm on 22 Aug 2009, SempreSami wrote:

    She doesn't know what extras are? Bloody hell.

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  • 31. At 9:43pm on 22 Aug 2009, Medieval-Evil wrote:

    Good listening in my view - even if I dislike Lily Allen's music. Sounds like she was enjoying it, as was Aggers, which is a good sign. Normally pop-star interviews are so cringeworthy I have to turn the volume down till they're done, but this was good fun.

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  • 32. At 10:01pm on 22 Aug 2009, Mo wrote:

    I loved the interview, loved everything about it. Hope to see more of Lilly in TMF..

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  • 33. At 10:05pm on 22 Aug 2009, Happygoflossy wrote:

    Not a massive fan of her music, but Lily was fun! I love cricket, love football too...but I don't know EVERYTHING about either game. Does that mean I shouldn't take an interest?!! You lives and you learns!

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  • 34. At 11:38pm on 22 Aug 2009, simonhem wrote:

    I think if you don't get why it's fun for Lily Allen to be on TMS, then you don't really get TMS. Silly-but- charming middle-aged man fawning over a 24-year-old pop star, whose music he probably doesn't quite understand, "he couldn't quite get his leg over", Blowers rambling about cake etc. It's random, sometimes profound, sometimes inane, but never takes itself seriously. That's why we love this programme. It's the Just a Minute of sport.

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  • 35. At 11:41pm on 22 Aug 2009, le_moribond wrote:

    A fun interview as previously written. Good to have a nice mix of guests and she was good. My respect for her went up with her love for the test game and dislike for T20!

    Shame on Kafakil too.

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  • 36. At 01:08am on 23 Aug 2009, John H wrote:

    I found it very hard to listen to, so I turned over for a bit.

    If TMS wants these celebs on from time to time then so be it, that's fine with me.... just please don't make a habit of it!

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  • 37. At 02:08am on 23 Aug 2009, vwcampavan wrote:

    I thought Lily Allen came across really well. The interview with Aggers along with the cricket really brightened up the afternoon. Well done TMS!!!

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  • 38. At 02:35am on 23 Aug 2009, Sam Whiting wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 07:31am on 23 Aug 2009, charlster1 wrote:

    lily is charming and absolutely gorgeous, thankfully this game is open to the masses and not just pompous followers such as rugger-tyke and that bundle of fun kafkafil. There is room in this game for people from all walks of life especially an obvious avid fan such as lily who has an unbelievably busy schedule but still found the time to be at the Brit Oval to cheer the lads on both on Thursday and Saturday. Good luck Lily, you should be applauded not critisised.

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  • 40. At 07:50am on 23 Aug 2009, andy97 wrote:

    If you want attract new, younger followers to Test Cricket, or even Cricket of any sort, than the fact that Lily Allen is a fan of the game has to be a good thing.

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  • 41. At 07:54am on 23 Aug 2009, andybbb wrote:

    great interview, fresh and insightful. The truely onderful thing about cricket is that it appeals to all kinds of people from all different walks of life. It is good to hear people of that age who's love of test cricket outways that of the new modern formats. Those that are supposed to drag in the crowds and encourage the love of test cricket...twenty20 is the red top, one day cricket is the action movie and test cricket is the sometimes great novel of world sport. It is also sometimes a bad novel and it is very easy to put down a bad novel. I just don't want test cricket to appear as cool once every four years it has to endure and the acid test will be if we start loosing...

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  • 42. At 08:10am on 23 Aug 2009, northernjools wrote:

    Good on TMS for having Lily on the show yesterday. I love the slightly eccentric feel to the programme and the mix of Aggers and Lily was truly engaging. In the middle of all the economic crises and bad news, it made me smile and remember that life is rich. By the way, has anyone else noticed that Tuffers sounds like Minty off Eastenders? :)

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  • 43. At 09:57am on 23 Aug 2009, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    Who's next?Lady Gaga?

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  • 44. At 10:49am on 23 Aug 2009, Gloops wrote:

    I'm glad I found this blog. I only heard the first half of the interview, before I went off for my lunch, and I had no idea who Jonathan Agnew was speaking to as Lily was introduced only as the "mystery guest". It remained a mystery for me, until now. I guess I'm something like the Judge who had never heard of the Beatles, but my pop music listening habits waned in the era of the Stone Roses and Inspiral Carpets.

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  • 45. At 10:58am on 23 Aug 2009, steviegen wrote:

    Be fair, the intelectual snobbery displayed by some here is ridiculous. Not a big fan of the woman, not even sure she is a legitimate fan, however, TMS is moving with the times. Ridiculous comments such as she's not the sort of person we want on TMS, makes me think of MCC members. Cricket does not belong to any particular "sort" of person. Neither does TMS. Its exactly that sort of attitude that stops people becoming fans - people believe that everyone involved in the sport is like that. Well no they are not, she was a different sort of guest, Aggers seemed to be like a lovestruck/starstruck teenager, and it was entertaining. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  • 46. At 11:24am on 23 Aug 2009, OddOad wrote:

    Just listened to this - a great interview. Was on holiday last week in Falmouth and visited Chrid Old's take-away in PRAA Sands - great haddock and chips. Just wish I had realised it was Chris who was cooking. As a young Yorkshire lad I watched Chris destroy many a county side and international sides in the 1980's. What a great and accurate bowler - and not a bad bat. He can also now cook a mean fish and chips

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  • 47. At 12:36pm on 23 Aug 2009, flynntofftuesday wrote:

    Lily Allen was quite funny and very enthusiastic about cricket, and young people being enthusiastic about test cricket is hugely important if it is not to die a death. Also, TMS is not specially created individually for any one listener. So there was a half hour interview you didn't like? Go do something else for half an hour and come back! only half an hour not to your liking in a five day (or four, COME ON ENGLAND!) is not too bad.

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  • 48. At 1:31pm on 23 Aug 2009, shaibal wrote:

    some of us tend to keep the radio on during lunch intervals. the young shrilling voices of late does not interest me much, however, i am sure this must be doing something for the popularity of this programme and cricket in general. so i am prepared to lay aside my dislike for celebrities in the interest of test cricket.

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  • 49. At 1:58pm on 23 Aug 2009, cyberdigidog wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 50. At 2:06pm on 23 Aug 2009, pamour wrote:

    It's not necessary for me (in Germany) to "find" TMS on the internet, except of course through Google.

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  • 51. At 2:13pm on 23 Aug 2009, cyberdigidog wrote:

    Truth hurts, chickens!

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  • 52. At 5:34pm on 23 Aug 2009, MaidenGaGa wrote:

    Yesterday Lily 'What are extras?' Allen, today Harry Potter. The danger with having a Five Live producer in charge of TMS was always that it would veer away from Radio 4 and towards Five Live. Why doesn't Mountford get Spoony to host a Call the Commentators?

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  • 53. At 6:44pm on 23 Aug 2009, Tomath wrote:

    I'm undecided about the suitability of Lily Allen as a TMS guest, but I certainly don't object to Daniel Radcliffe being interviewed. He is a genuine cricket fan and is knowledgeable about the game. If this (along with the fantastic result of course!) attracts more young people to TMS then that's brilliant.

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  • 54. At 8:28pm on 23 Aug 2009, carrie wrote:

    According to the notes she wrote on her programme, she wants to **** Flintoff and snog Harmison. She admitted the reason she likes cricket is she became interested in it when Flintoff peed in the garden of 10 Downing Street. Well if that's the kind of stuff you want to hear and have Adam Mountford glorying in, you are most sincerely welcome.

    I have been at the Oval every day and am just back from the glorious celebrations. I am just happy I didn't meet one person who said anything like her, in fact most people who heard the interview were absolutely appalled, as was I. Can't anything be sacrosanct and free from the need to lower the tone?

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  • 55. At 9:01pm on 23 Aug 2009, BasilJuice wrote:

    This was a fantastic series for TMS: Tuffers and Matthew Hayden were a revelation, but I also found myself warming to Jim Maxwell and the irascible Boycs. The droll chat with Russell Crowe was perhaps the highlight, but everyone has been on top of their game through the five tests. That said, I'd stand with the naysayers when it comes to Lily Allen. She seemed charmless and manufactured, and the whole "I love test matches" thing seemed about as authentic as her "music industry outsider" persona. Some of the papers suggested that Aggers had been swooning over her to an embarrassing extent; I thought his final comment that she had come prepared with notes was rather arch.

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  • 56. At 9:01pm on 23 Aug 2009, barcelonatangerine wrote:

    My goodness, what a lot of snobbish elitists still exist in the U.K.
    The young lady was invited for an interview which she accepted, it was not a self-publicising stunt.I have just watched the whole series in my local in asmall village in Spain and tried without much success to explain to the locals what extras (amongst many other things) are all about.I confess to complete failure but the locals seemed to get great enjoyment from watching my passion for watching this alien sport.

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  • 57. At 9:14pm on 23 Aug 2009, masterblaster321 wrote:

    Thought Lily Allen was charming. Ashes Test matches bring many new fans, and it was good to hear Ricky Ponting being applauded when he said that there is not much wrong with test match cricket (as opposed to 20/20 slogfests!) when it is as exciting as this series has been.

    A request - will Lily Allen please lead a campaign to 'bring back the cream'?

    (would cricket fans please contribute to the blog www.backstreettestmatches.blogspot.com )



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  • 58. At 9:33pm on 23 Aug 2009, belcanto wrote:

    the interview was good and different...well done TMS

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  • 59. At 11:32pm on 23 Aug 2009, fourstar wrote:

    From many of the withering comments above, anyone would think that cricket fans were obliged to fulfil a number of ridiculously arcane criteria before they were allowed to make any further comment on the game.

    You may not like her music, you may not approve of her behaviour & you may not like her attitude but she is a genuine cricket fan and that, my friends, is to be encouraged.

    Think on.

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  • 60. At 08:30am on 24 Aug 2009, carrie wrote:

    Face it, people will do anything for publicity.

    Aggers looks like a benign Grandad in that picture. One of his kids probably loves Lily.

    Please stop all these desperate attempts to engage a younger audience. I was at the Oval for every minute of this Test, know loads of twenty somethings who were in Regent's Park and I went for two days to Lord's, and I can confirm there were plenty of the younger generation present who don't give a monkey's about engaging youth as they are already there.

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  • 61. At 09:28am on 24 Aug 2009, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:


    Team TMS did a fine job in the Ashes Series. A big thanks to Jonathan and his fellow team mates.





    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

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  • 62. At 11:14am on 24 Aug 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    Couldnt you have come up with a better picture than that? The girl is beautiful and you have mananged to make her look like a gargoyle!

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  • 63. At 11:37am on 24 Aug 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    The comments on here seem mostly to be odd drivel.

    So many saying "I didnt hear the interview but...". Well if you didnt hear it then don't comment. I don't care if you think it was a good thng she was on or a bad thing or if you like her music.

    I DID hear it and she came accross as lacking in knowledge about the game but showed genuine enthusiasm for it. However this is not necessarily a bad thing, she has only just found the game and is in the same position as so many other people find themselves, having just caught a bit of a sport that is quite complicated and seems to have an aura around it, most will shy away from it for fear of being made to look an idiot. How many times do seemingly normal people ridicule others less-knowledgable about the offside rule in football, lbw decisions in cricket, rucking in rugby, GC racing in cycling; so many times and all it does is discourage people.

    Here there is a fine example of one who is not only keen to find out more but has the confidence to go on a program like TMS and openly admit her lack of knowledge, if she is willing to put herself up for ridicule like that for the sake of finding out more then maybe just maybe it will show others that they not need to be so afraid to ask the same questions.

    I will never tire of answering the same questions about my sport (target shooting) to anyone who asks, some of them ask what others I know would class as ignorant and demeaning questions like "Isn't it just practice for hunting?" or "Shouldn't that be easy?", but it is often out of complete innocence. If I were to scoff at them and tell them they are stupid questiosn then how many do you think would ever bother thinking about the sport again? We complain about not enough youngsers getting involved yet this is how so many of you wish to treat them.

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  • 64. At 10:42am on 27 Aug 2009, TomNightingale wrote:

    I agree 100% with kafkali at 3. I listened to the LA interview. It was the worst since Eric Clapton. Both were dreadful...both EC and LA were utterly vacuous. I think I expected that of LA, on the few occasions I've seen her on TV she has been the same, EC was a big disappointment.

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  • 65. At 08:17am on 03 Feb 2010, adan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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