Neville Cardus – later Sir – was the greatest of cricket commentators and writers, and equally famous as a music critic. He worked in these two fields for most of his 87 years. In his soft west-country burr, Cardus would often correlate these two interests in his commentaries. (Of W. G. Grace: “He orchestrated the folk music of cricket”.) On retirement, he closed his final cricket commentary without a dramatic farewell. He said, as he always did, “I’m now handing over the commentary to…”
A fellow-writer with Cardus at the Manchester Guardian was a young Lancastrian named Alistair Cooke – later Honorary Sir - whose goodbye to broadcasting was equally unpretentious. In his 95th year, he closed the longest-running series in broadcasting history as he had done for the previous 58 years: he said, in his gentle mid-Atlantic voice, “Goodnight”. His 3,000 scripts, totalling some seven million words, will soon be available on-line.
As an admirer of both journalists, but with a mere three years of bloggery and only 117,717 words (including these) on the clock, you will appreciate that I would have to emulate their lack of sentimentality.
Last post by Riviera writer on Tuesday, January 06, 2009.