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TMS has a wizard time in Ashes finale

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Adam Mountford | 09:22 UK time, Monday, 24 August 2009

It must have been a special afternoon at The Oval as it even brought together Harry Potter and his arch-rival Draco Malfoy.

Actors Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton took time out from filming the next instalment of the Potter films to join TMS at The Oval and they witnessed a thrilling day's cricket.

Of course most people weren't as fortunate as Daniel and Tom to see the Ashes regained live - but hopefully we were able to convey the drama on Test Match Special.

As the events unfolded throughout the day we became aware of listeners around the world following our commentary - and going to quite some lengths to do so

Harry Potter actors Tom Felton (left) and Daniel Radcliffe on TMSDave e-mailed the programme to say: "I'm listening by satellite phone with a confused German, a disinterested Austrian and, best of all, a despondent Australian at Everest Base Camp. Watching the sun go down after a day's acclimatisation before beginning a four-man ascent of Everest tomorrow. So need England to wrap it up today!"

That was followed by Ewan and Jose, two seal and penguin scientists from the British Antarctic Survey who were listening on the Bird Island Research station on South Georgia on the icy Southern Ocean. They e-mailed to thank TMS for bringing "a little taste of summer in the depths of our winter".

Peter Edgerton e-mailed us to say he was "listening from the rock face of Gimmer Crag high above the Langdale Valley. I have been able to update other parties from time to time on the progress of the game!"

We had a text from one listener tuning to TMS via his mobile phone on a beach in Ghana. His message was that his wife had forgotten to pack a phone charger and he was desperately searching for a listener who would just happen to be also on the same beach and could help.

A few seconds later, Josh Grainger contacted the programme to say: "Hello, I heard the e-mail you've just read out, and i have got two spare phone chargers, i'm in Halloway beach in Ghana, hope it helps. I'm wearing a fluorescent yellow top, so I'll be easy to see!"

I hope the two were able to make contact especially in time for what was unsurprisingly voted the TMS Champagne Moment - the run-out of Ricky Ponting by that man Andrew Flintoff.

The dramatic dismissal led to an e-mail discussion about "where were you when Freddie ran out Ricky?". One listener told us: "I was dealing with water pouring through my ceiling from a burst pipe as Ponting was run out. I'd put a screw through my own pipe so Freddie cheered me right up."

Another e-mailer, JD, was also suffering at the key moment. He told us "I was being dumped by my girlfriend at the exact moment Ponting was run out. At least I had Freddie's heroics to make me smile", while a listener in Phoenix, Arizona told us he was listening via wireless speakers lying on a sun bed floating on a swimming pool - "Unfortunately the excitement of the wicket led me to capsize and lose transmission."

Wherever in the world you were listening to us, I'd like to thank you for tuning in and for getting in touch. If you would like to hear a full review of the Test, or hear some of our special interviews with Lily Allen or the Harry Potter actors, check out the Test Match Special podcasts at

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We will be back on air at 1400 on Sunday, 30 August for the start of the limited-overs series between England and Australia, getting underway with the first Twenty20 game at Old Trafford.

Joining the normal TMS team at his new home ground will be former England and now Lancashire coach Peter Moores. Plus we have a variety of Australian's joining us for the one day matches including TMS regular Jeff Thomson plus Stuart Law and Rodney Hogg.

That is because Matthew Hayden is returning home to Australia after a very successful debut on TMS. It has been great fun having Matthew as part of our team and hopefully the quality of the cakes he was able to sample in the TMS box helped make us for the disappointment of the Australians' defeat. Haydos just happened to be on air when both Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke were run out and for once it was the cricket which left him speechless rather than a mouthful of chocolate brownies.

Finally - I have mentioned a few times that you must take a listen to the Test Match Special Ashes Archive at I am just really pleased that although the 2009 vintage may not have had the same quality as 2005, it certainly had plenty of twists and turns and moments of great drama which I am sure you will want to listen to again for years to come.


  • Comment number 1.

    Re "We want to top rankings" - we should be grateful we're as high as we are... but then we get to KP bashing again

    "The managing director of England cricket, Hugh Morris, says he is delighted at the progress the side has made under captain Strauss and coach Andy Flower, who were appointed in the wake of the destabilising row and ultimate dismissal of former captain Kevin Pietersen and coach Peter Moores"

    KP finished 3rd in the batting averages for this series on one leg !

    I reckon KP and JT would make an interesting middle order...and maybe keep us halfway up the rankings... but sooner or later all the KP bashers are going to win and destroy him - and watch us drop then. When is England going to learn to be greatful for the decent players it can get instead of knocking them all the time ?

  • Comment number 2.

    Just a mail to say thank you to TMS for giving us such great coverage of the Ashes. I love the commentators / co commentators and the way you bring the game to life with all those stories etc.
    The funniest moment for me was at Lords when Tuffers was asked to guess what the Queen had selected for her lunch. My wife and I were in tears of laughter.
    Up until recently due mainly to cricket coverage not being on terrestial T.V I had somewhat moved away from watching cricket but now I am hooked again.
    Please please bring back test match cricket to normal T.V so EVERYONE can enjoy watching it again.

  • Comment number 3.

    When Freddie got Ricky out, I was in an online chat with some friends, including an Aussie, who has threatened to send me redback spiders in retaliation for our win! *g*

  • Comment number 4.

    Interesting that two native south-africans, both of whom are now apparently English enough to play for our country at first class level, should be the ones some are now looking at to prop up a sometimes shaky English batting order. What does that tell you? Me, I personally don't mind where KP and JT hail from; but it does seem something of a shame that, like in professional football, some of the best players in England are the product of foreign training regimes.
    Oh wait - I forgot about Stuart Broad. Oh, and Graeme Swann. And that Flintoff fellow. And the brilliantly-named Graham Onions. And...okay, forget what I just said.
    Just wish KP wasn't such a ham-fisted butter-fingers out in the field.

  • Comment number 5.

    but it does seem something of a shame that, like in professional football, some of the best players in England are the product of foreign training regimes.


    Pietersen and Trott may well be products of South Africa's system, but neither were anywhere near good enough to be test players when they arrived on these shores, would they have made it via the SA system? Who knows, perhaps coming to the UK was the making of them as cricketers.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have enjoyed listening so much but can anyone tell me why on earth the BBC don't televise the Ashes?

  • Comment number 7.

    Matty Hayden - I used to hate you with a passion as a player, but you've been brilliant and a true gent on TMS.

    Not having Sky, it was TMS all the way for me...I was lucky enough to have a ticket yesterday and you were in my ear all day at the Oval.

    The end of an Ashes summer, a great win, but now a huge gap to fill.

  • Comment number 8.

    Couldn't listen to TMS because I don't have a Long Wave or DAB facilitated radio...bit irritating seeing as the scottish game (golf) and the Toffs game(tennis)get MW coverage...had to put up with the web coverage....which was bloody terrible

  • Comment number 9.

    As usual you guys have given me many hours of entertainment and i was pleasantly surprised by Matty Hayden whom i'd thought was a real snarly in your face aussie but was a real gent - and yes, you guys did the commentating whilst i was watching it on tv (oh for the days of live cricket on terrestrial tv). As for where were you when Fred run out Punter i'm afraid it was going to the loo or soiling my pants - guess where i went.......

  • Comment number 10.

    Thanks TMS for entertainment that seems to get better every year while respecting the programme's history at the same time. I can't think of any other broadcasters, on TV or radio, who could squeeze Lily Allen, Harry Potter, Tuffers, and CMJ convincingly and naturally into one programme,without sounding contrived. Always accessible but never dumbed down. Brilliant. And thanks for keeping impartial - such a refreshing change from the biased nonsense on the text commentary those of us stuck at work have to put up with. Also echo comments of others on Matt Hayden - seems a great bloke and fascinating to listen to. Sign him up for next time please!

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Big thank you to TMS for the magnificent coverage throughout the Series.

    Aggers, Vic, CMJ, Blowers, Boycs, Tuffers and Jim Maxwell.

    Matthew Hayden started rather stiffly but quickly loosened up and warmed to the task. Haydos is a gent and welcome addition to the TMS Ashes team.

  • Comment number 13.

    I was in bed in Bogota, Colombia, listening to TMS on the laptop through the mobile phone connection. The connection was awful and kept going off, like at the time when he threw down the stumps!

    Normally, wild excitement in a Bogota bedroom does not involve Test Match Special.

    After the match, we went into the city to find the Ozy Bar, which was closed! Then we went to find the Australian Embassy to commiserate. However, they have published an incorrect address. A taxi driver was even given another incorrect address.

  • Comment number 14.

    Just want to add my thanks to the TMS commentators - you were all fab.And Aggers clearly had huge fun interviewing Lily Allen - good for him! But I did miss Geoffrey this time - where did he get to? And lastly,I agree with all those who've written in asking why the Ashes weren't being broadcact to us on terrestial TV. It's a national scandal.

  • Comment number 15.

    Is Daniel Radcliffe actually a young Blowers in disguise?!? I bring to your attention his description of Collingwood batting;

    "Paul Collingwood does make batting look like trench warfare....and it's really rather lovely"

  • Comment number 16.

    Not in the slightest bit interested in Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter, Lily Allen.....I tune in to TMS for cricket.

  • Comment number 17.

    I listened to TMS from Sydney, sitting by the fireside! Love every minute, specially Blowers and Aggers and CMJ bringing back many memories of past fun at matches in UK where I was born. Thanks very much.

  • Comment number 18.

    Great coverage Sky, many thanks...oh, oops.

  • Comment number 19.

    Fortunately I was lucky enough to be at the ground, courtesy of a friend who decided not to go after the Headingly debacle - what a mistake!

    Midway through the afternoon I received several text messages saying that Aggers and the boys on TMS were talking about the lads who played cricket on Everest earlier this year, as I was one of them! To think I was sat in the Oval watching England regain the Ashes while the legends of Test Match Special were talking about something I did perhaps makes me the happiest man ever!

    Check out if you want to know more about what we did to raise money for the Lord's Taverners and Himalayan Trust UK.


  • Comment number 20.

    Having made my first post around this time last year to criticise the summer TMS had had and the removal of Mike Selvey (all of which I stand by), it seems only fair that I should make my second post to congratulate and thank you for the superb Ashes coverage. The regular appearances of CMJ and Blowers (at times together) was a great relief after last summer, while the next generation is built up in the 20/20 etc. The 'going too close to Radio 5' argument rang true last year, but for me is now dead and buried. The Australian contributions were great, esp. Matthew Hayden. Vic is a legend; Boycott, Tufnell both superb. Final word though: Aggers is on his way to being an all-time great. Well done all.

  • Comment number 21.

    I've been listening to TMS since 1968 and I have to say I've enjoyed the commentary this Ashes more than anything you've done before - an excellent mix of the usual ball-by-ball necessity, plus atmosphere, wonderfully informed and entertaining comment by Haydos and Ian in particular, and the indispensable Tuffers. The guest appearances have been fascinating and in no way "dumbed down". Aggers has a great career as an interviewer ahead if the cricket thing doesn't work out: he manages to bring something out of every one of his guests.
    The only quibble - during the last test I was wandering all over South London with a radio attached to my bike, switching it on whenever anyone asked me the score. I frequently had to wait what seemed like 5 minutes before this vital info was repeated: please just repeat the basic "107 for 2" a little more often.
    Can't wait till the next battle!

  • Comment number 22.

    Lovely Test Match coverage. Thanks Adam. Looking forward to the ODIs.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

  • Comment number 23.

    I am devastated it's all over. What a wonderful Summer. Simply cannot wait for 2013.

  • Comment number 24.

    Think TMS has been brilliant over the Ashes. Have spent many a day annoying my girlfriend by staring at the scorecard and listening to it on the Red Button.

    My main gripe though; why is it on Radio 4 long wave? When travelling this was a major gripe, as it would have been great to listen to TMS in the car, but how many cars have DAB or Long Wave radios? Why is it not on analogue FM or AM?

  • Comment number 25.

    Great summer on TMS as usual. Hope to hear Blowers back on the air soon. Hope Tuffers new fame & fortune on strictly will not get in the way of his summarising!!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to know if the “Stump the Umpire” feature with John Holder is available on a podcast anywhere. I missed most of the lunch & tea sessions from the oval and would love to listen to it.

    Keep up the good work and I am looking forward to enjoying your commentary of the winter tour to South Africa.

  • Comment number 26.

    Dear Adam and all at TMS
    Thank you for such excellent coverage of the England vs Australia test series. I write as someone who had a few doubts about some of the changes to TMS during 2008, but I think 2009 has been a vintage year for TMS. I think Jonathan Agnew is a superb correspondent and Vic Marks has come into his own as your best summariser. I liked the immediate post series summary and interviews that Aggers and Victor did in tandem immediately after the final test finished. I also felt that TMS's broadcast of the final day at the Oval was totally gripping and brought everything to life. Well done to you all.

    Look forward to your coverage of the winter tour to SA.

  • Comment number 27.

    Is this the most sycophantic blog comment column ever? Seems to me any criticism of anything is censored out


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