Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Come Outside

Fantasy Bob is sure that his world wide readership are aware that 50 years ago to this very week, the number one spot in the hit parade was occupied by a minor masterpiece. Come Outside featured Mike Sarne pleading with his girlfriend to leave the dancefloor for 'there won't be any time left for romancing.' From the middle of the song on there are interjections from his girlfriend 'Wot for?' she flatly enquires. "Get lost.' Says it all about relationships.

The girlfriend is voiced by Wendy Richard - who got a princely 15 quid for the session and no royalties.

Mike Sarne went on to greater things including directing a couple of movies and having a fling with Brigitte Bardot. He failed to grace the cricket field.
Wendy Richard became Miss Brahms in the sit-com Are You Being Served?   This was never a favourite show of FB's who never understood why she was called Miss Brahms - she bore no resemblance to the great German romantic composer.  But Wendy Richard achieved Test Match Status as Pauline Fowler in Eastenders.  From glamourpuss to harridan.  And what a miserable harridan she was.

His worldwide readership may find it surprising to learn that FB was a fan of this show for many years.  However after many years of grinding misery, many accidental and improbable deaths, many inexplicable returns of characters best forgotten, he gave it up.  He had been waiting too long for a cricket based story to emerge.  It never came and FB gave it up.

Wendy Richard in Eastenders
After all, other soap operas had their cricket themes - and the fate of the cricket team in the Archers is part of the story line that Mrs FB keeps FB fully up to date on.  He is sorry to hear that the team is struggling for numbers this season.  This is the kind of real life or death experience that soap operas should depict.  Cricket had featured in Emmerdale Farm also.  So there was absolutely no excuse for Eastenders, they just weren't trying hard enough.

In 1962 though, things were different.  Cricket would have featured. The lyrics of the song tell us that.  But cricket was very different too as can be seen from 2 developments that happened that year.  1962 saw the last ever Gentlemen v Players fixtures - one at Lords which was a draw and one at Scarborough which the Players won by 7 wickets. The  Gentleman's teams in these fixtures were high quality outfits with Ted Dexter, MJK Smith, Trevor Bailey, David Sheppard and Tony Lewis in the team.  Fred Trueman, who played in both fixtures as a player said that the fixture was a ludicrous business and was thankfully abolished.  It is hard to disagree.

Northants victorious
But there was also another harbinger of the future in 1962 in the form of the first one day tournament.  This was an experimental tournament featuring four counties to test aspects of the format.   It was a 65 over tournament for the Midlands Knock Out cup and was won by Northamptonshire who beat Notts by 5 wickets.  Issues still to be resolved were the limits on bowlers and the nature of the fielding restrictions.  While the semi finals had 15 overs a bowler this was not applied in the final.   The Gillette Cup got underway in 1963, bowling limits and restricted fielders on the leg side in place - still features of the one day game today.

Come outside, there's a lovely moon out there.


  1. Are You Being Served? had its moments - the episode where Captain Peacock took his staff to the opera in an attempt to broaden their cultural orbit is one that might have appealed to FB in particular. Eastenders, on the other hand, was always a miserable programme full of unpleasant people doing unpleasant things. Had a cricket match been featured, it would undoubtedly have been interrupted by brawling or murder. Now that the show's producer has been seconded to The Archers, we can expect more of the same there.

    1. Many thanks - FB is sure that Mrs FB will keep him up to date as misery and mayhem permeates Ambridge.