Sunday, December 11, 2005

Basil D'Oliveira and Ealing Studios

While at Arkwright's Mill yesterday I bought a remaindered paperback copy of Peter Oborne's Basil D'Oliveira: Cricket and Conspiracy. This only came out in April this year: I will never understand the economics of the publishing trade.

Back in July I quoted at length from a review of this book on the Crooked Timber site. The reviewer listed some of the people who came out on the side of the angels over D'Oliveira's exclusion from the party to tour South Africa in 1968-9 - John Arlott, Ray Illingworth, Revd David Sheppard, Mike Brearley, Tom Graveney - and commented:
It is astonishing to find that so many of one's childhood heroes were, well, heroes (I started expecting Kenneth Horne or Jon Pertwee to turn up).
There is no sign of Horne or Pertwee, but I think I have found another of my own heroes on the side of the light.

Oborne writes:

When the revolt came it was a very English affair. It started with a classified advertisement in The Times, placed by Charles Barr, a 28-year-old lecturer and associate member of the MCC. It called on "fellow members, unhappy with the club's handling of tour selection and cricket relations with South Africa generally" to get in touch with him. He received some seventy calls.

I wondered if this could be the Charles Barr who wrote the definitive critical study of Ealing Studios. It looks as though it is, for Barr's own website announces that he is currently working on "a study of cricket on screen (taking in cinema and television)".

At times like this, when your enthusiasms fall into place together, you can still believe that life will one day make sense.

1 comment:

cbarr said...

'My attention was drawn', as they say, to this by a friend only recently, after so many years... anyway, thank you for the comment, and I can confirm that this is indeed one and the same person. And that I keep writing about films and, less often, cricket: see for instance 'Cricket and Films in 2010' in the current Wisden