November 26, 2006

Australian cricket

Simply marvellous

Martin Williamson

Billy Birmingham relaxes © SMH
Fantastic news for fans of the highly irreverent 12th Man CDs – and that includes most of the editorial team – comes with the release this week of the seventh offering – and the first for five years - from Billy Bimingham. Called Boned, it sees a return of the commentators whose utter scorn of political correctness has become legendary.

The Sydney Morning Herald caught up with Birmingham as he put the finishing touches to the double CD.

Here's the drum on the new 12th Man album. Richie Benaud is so peeved with Eddie McGuire's cost-cutting decision to sack the entire Channel Nine commentary team - and hire Billy Birmingham to do all their voices and cover the Ashes series himself - that he forms a band called Richie and Da Boyz who do a remake of Birmingham's song Marvellous in a bid to get their own back against a man who has forged a career out of taking the piss out of them.

And it’s apparent that Birmingham in the flesh is as irreverent as his characters.

I'm all over the place like a suicide bomber's sandshoe … There's so much material. The drama has been trying to cut it all down so it fits onto a double album … It couldn't have happened in any other country. We're a nation of sports nuts and piss-takers and all I've done is combine the two.


Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa

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