I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
In Search of Mornington Crescent

Starring: Andrew Marr, Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer
BBC Audio
RRP: 12.99
ISBN: 978 1846 071959
Available 01 October 2007

This is the most definitive and complete guide ever produced on one of radio's most popular and enigmatic games. Mornington Crescent is a game enshrined in many of the legends of our sceptred isle. Now, at last, the eminent broadcaster Andrew Marr peers - with the help of Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer and many famous fans of "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" - behind the veil of secrecy which has until now surrounded it...

The game of Mornington Crescent dates back to the middle ages, and probably longer. It’s a game that has passed down through the years, barely changed and equally barely understood by many. Although it’s an easy game for novices to understand, its layers of sophistication ensure that once you’re ensnared by its beautiful logic and simplicity there’s always more to learn.

Rule books are few and far between, principally because so much of what makes Morning Crescent so compelling is handed down word of mouth from one generation to the next, so it’s therefore a real delight to find a double CD that lifts the veil to reveal the internal mechanism of the game of Kings and commoners alike.

Disc one is a splendid documentary from BBC journalist Andrew Marr. His investigative insights and interviews with luminaries of the game are both compelling listening as well as being highly informative. The late, great Humphrey Lyttleton is probably the most articulate exponent of the game to be found here but solid contributions also come from Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer - all well known and accomplished players in their own right.

By the time you’ve listened to the first CD you’ll be ready to re-enter the Mornington Crescent area refreshed and renewed. Novices beware - you’ll be on top form.

Disc two features a number of historic accounts of Mornington Crescent complete with thrilling re-enactments. This really is the stuff of legend and will once again enhance your understanding of the complexities of its rules. It is also a rare opportunity to hear players from the past in their own words talk about what the game meant to them.

Mornington Crescent is a national institution, as popular today as it was when Henry VIII championed it at the Royal court. Some place names have changed over the years but popular destination, including Tooting Bec and the tricky Walthamstow Central, actually date back to the game’s inception.

These two CDs make for fascinating listening. Essential...

Anthony Clark

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