Phil Tuffnell Bowls Over Audience With Hilarious Stories

Legendary English cricket player and King of the Jungle, Phil Tuffnell got the audience laughing out loud as soon as he came on for his Literary Festival talk on Wednesday night at the Christ Church Centre, going up into the pulpit saying “We are gathered here…ah this is what it looks like, they never normally let me in!”

Interviewed by top sports TV presenter, Jim Rosenthal about Phil’s new book, The Tourist he first asked why he had written the book.  Phil, replied, “I went on 9 English tours, went out to the Jungle in Australia and been on many holidays, it seemed like I was living out of suitcase and I always travelled in large groups where something always funny happened. I’m not a good traveller though, it takes 3 Bloody Mary’s to get me on the plane!”

During his cricket tours, Phil admitted that he “immersed himself in the culture a bit too much” and “I don’t think there was a single night I stayed in.”

He recounted a hilarious story from an Ashes tour when he was going through troubled times divorcing his third wife and hit out in his hotel room.  He said, “The telly went out of the window as I thought that’s what rock start do.  The next minute two men turn up in white coats to take me away – I thought they were umpires?!  They took me to an institution and I was sat there in a room with a doctor.  Luckily he went out to get a coffee so I ran out of the doors.  I hid behind a shed and thought how am I going to get home?  Next I see a taxi coming towards me, the driver winds down the window and says Good Day Tuffers, jump in.”

The funny stories kept coming including playing a prank on Mike Gatting with a overhead fan and talcolm powder in a hotel room, having to find his cricket whites in a big pile of hotel laundry and ending up wearing Devon Malcolm’s long trousers and an Indian umpire who asked Phil to just hit the 11th batsman’s pads so that he could give him out for lbw as he wanted the match to finish so that he could miss the traffic jam and take his wife out for her birthday!

Asked about commenting on Test Match Special, Phil said, “I’m still very nervous and have trouble with some of the names including Quintin De Kock.” He then went on to tell a hilarious story about commentating with Jonathan Agnew (Aggers) who was struggling with the Indian cricketer Fakhar Zaman’s name.

Questions from the audience included – what’s been your favourite cricket match? (World Cup Final at Lords) and Ashes match at Lords which he said was like commentating on “crack”.


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