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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars

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on 21 April 2017
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on 15 June 2005
Let me say this from the start - I hate Cricket! However, I, like most people, know who Richie Benaud is (mainly due to the impersonation abilities of Rory Bremner in his earlier days!).
I would never have even considered buying this, until one day, I heard the opening part when a friend was playing it in his car. Beleive me, it hits you right between the eyes! From the very start I was in stitches! I was straight onto Amazon when I got home, and ordered this CD set.
From the outset, this is hilarious. Hearing the commentators pronouncing the names of the players is classic comedy. All of the characters are extremely funny, and you can almost picture them. The fact that I don't know who most of them were did not detract from the fun - in fact, it probably enhanced it - I'm pretty sure these characters would be more entertaining than the real thing!
Be warned though, it is fairly adult, with lots of swearing. Some may even think it's a tiny bit politically incorrect, but I think it's pretty unnoffensive. I think it will live on as a classic piece of comedy.
That said, has it made me want to watch the cricket from now on? Not a chance!
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on 30 May 2000
A mate once heard an extract of the 12th Man and said it was fantastic - now I've heard it I cannot disagree. Excellent verbal characatures and a brilliant script. The nationalistic fervour of Bill Lawrie is superb and Richie Benaud is near perfect. If only TV coverage was like this! Great comedy, but wait 'til the kids are in bed.
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on 25 May 2005
So glad i tracked this cd on Amazon, what a classic piece of media. If you've ever heard the likes of Tony Greig, Bill Laury during the ashes, then you'l soil your self laughing at this very clever CD. Excellent, play on words for all the players, not very PC though, but damn funny!.
From Tony sticking his keys in the pitch and Richie Benaud practicing his 'what a catch' in the shower to Bills pigeons. A must for all cricket fans!
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on 8 August 2000
Our straight-talking friends the Australians aren't big on discretion. Big on volume, possibly, big on offensiveness certainly, but not blowing one of their own trumpets? Shurely not. I have been hearing whispers about this guy (whose real name is Billy Birmingham) for about 10 years now - hilarious cricketing parodies, only ever available on copies of copies of copies. But finally, someone pulled their thumb out and decided to market 12th Man (albeit half-heartedly) over here. These CDs are basically a long series of audio sketches full of take-offs of every cricket commentator around, many of them Australian, full of sharp, filthy but ultimately hilarious stuff. Think the very best of Rory Bremner, the Fast Show and Steve Coogan all rolled into one, crossed with Test Match Special.
This stuff is so funny I'm now buying copies just to give (or sell) to all of my cricket-loving friends and family. If you have a sense of humour, and are not easily offended, and understand cricket, you will never spend a more entertaining 13 quid in your life. If you find you don't like it, you can write to me at the email below and I'll counsel you in how to go about getting yourself a sense of humour.
Finally, If you like this, try also the book 'As I say' by Dave Podmore, the Guardian's spoof county trundler, which is the only other thing that comes close for sheer comic brilliance in cricket publishing. It's also a much better portrait of the English cricketing fraternity, as 12th Man is heavily Antipodean in slant - though achingly funny nevertheless.
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on 12 February 2007
I'd been hearing great things about the 12th Man (a.k.a. Billy Birmingham) on the grapevine for some time, so decided to give this one a try; I wasn't disappointed.

Despite numerous expletives and innuendos (be warned this is really adult humour) this is one of the best comedy recordings I have heard for a long time. The spoof Asian cricketer names, constant niggle between the commentators, ridiculous scorelines and constant emphasis on Richie Benaud's pronunciation of the "s" and "t" (i.e. 222 for 2) are HILARIOUS, and the whole script is dotted with some razor-sharp one-liners.

If you're familiar with Australia's Channel Nine cricket commentary you may get more out of this, but in places (even to the uninitiated) this is a rip-snorter!
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on 14 January 2000
This is a compilation of three classics from the 12th Man - including the superb Australia v Sri Lanka one-day match. Includes new material featuring England which is almost as good. If you've never heard of the 12th man but love cricket, try it - you won't be disappointed. Our family know much of it word for word and still find it hilarious. Chuck away those bootleg tapes and buy this original.
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on 10 September 2014
One of the great unanswered questions of our time ..... why isn't Billy Birmingham and his genius cricket satire better known in the UK? Cricket satire is a deliberate understatement - brilliant scripting, brilliant impersonations and top quality production values. Hilarious, biting satire centred round the Oz legend Richie Benaud, his team of cricket commentators working for Oz sports channel 9 and various other real and imaginary characters (Kerry Packer's PA is Fay Dingaway - geddit?) . One gets the impression that BB loves cricket and sees Benaud as the legend he is in the global world of cricket. The satire stays just on the right side of good taste although BB sees Kerry Packer and his sport broadcasting revolutions as a figure to be attacked mercilessly.

Personalities BB has mimicked on CD include (courtesy of Wikipedia):
Richie Benaud
Bill Lawry
Tony Greig
Mark Taylor
Max Walker
Ken Sutcliffe
Ian Chappell
Greg Chappell
Alan Jones
Ian Maurice
Ray Warren
Paul Vautin
Peter Sterling
Hansie Cronje
Steve Roach
Darrell Eastlake
Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard
Kerry Packer
Plus many other iconic people.
The beauty and skill of BBs work is that even if you dont know, like me, the Oz sports commentators like Darrell Eastlake and Ray Warren BB creates an immediate image and perception and the listener is with him all the way.
All and any cricket fans should get into BB.
5 stars
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on 13 February 2000
I've been dining out on the 12th man for around 10 years now and still get fresh giggles every time I listen. Those familiar with Australia's Channel Nine cricket coverage will get more out of the CD's, but if you don't mind the odd expletive and love your cricket then this is for you!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 April 2013
I first came across The 12th Man (aka Billy Birmingham an Australian comic)whilst on holiday in Australia a few years ago. His parody of the cricket commentating team from the Australian Channel Nine TV station is absolutely hilarious, with Billy providing all of the voices, including Richie Benaud and the late Tony Greig. The players and matches covered are all very dated now, so some people (of less than a certain age) may not recognise the names, but it is still great comedy in its' own right. It is wicked and rude, with Richie Benaud portrayed as a tyrannical and controlling leader of the commentary team. British listeners will be unfamiliar with some of the characters, but I did a bit of research to find out who they were and it made the experience even funnier!! The corruption of some of the players names is most definitely not politically correct these days, but very funny. The tracks nominally cover matches played between 1987 and 1999, but the relation to real events is minimal in the search for another chance to take the rip out of the situation.

If you cannot stand the thought of your favourite game being satirised or poked fun at, then stay away, but if you enjoy sporting humour and are not easily offended then you should give this a go and look out for some of the other 12th Man recordings.

Marvellous stuff!!
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