Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What shall we do with a drunken sailor?

This clip is famous but I still meet people who've never heard of it, so I had to post this gem.

This is a BBC archive recording of a live radio broadcast from the 1937 Royal Navy Review at Spithead. In those days the British navy was the largest in the world and the review at Spithead was a great spectacle.

The BBC decided that they needed an expert to convey the full splendour of this event to a radio audience and decided to give the job to Lt Commander Tommy Woodroffe.

Unfortunately, as you will hear, he was pissed out of his head:


Lt Commander Woodroffe's broadcast certainly created a stir, but fortunately the BBC had a sense of humour and he was only suspended for a week. A year later he was commentating on football matches and during one game, which was 29 minutes into extra time, he commented 'If there's a goal scored now, I'll eat my hat.' A few seconds later, someone scored.

To Tommy Woodroffe's credit, he did eat his hat.

6 comments:

JRSM said...

This is wonderful! Thank you--I remember my dad telling me about this, but I'd never heard it before.

Richard de pesando MA(RCA) said...

that was brilliant, I think the Elgar makes it - so bloody British!!

Thank you - really made my day!

Lucy Fishwife said...

I read the post title and thought you were touting for suggestions. Damn, will have to find another recipient for my bright idea involving custard and wellies now.

Mal C said...

I remember my grandfather, Lt. Harry Bush, telling me of this. Tommy was on HMS Nelson and Grandfather was I/C the officers' ward room. Tommy reckoned he could out-drink anyone but had never come across Grandfather, who never ever seemed to get drunk, no matter how much he had. So my grandfather went one-for-one with Tommy, until it was time for the broadcast, which wasn't until about 11pm, by which time Tommy was "a little the worse for wear" (Grandfather's words - he was prone to understatement).

Steerforth said...

Thank you Mal for a great bit of background information to this anecdote. I've love to have been a fly on the wall when the two of them drank together.

Steerforth said...

Thank you Mal for a great bit of background information to this anecdote. I've love to have been a fly on the wall when the two of them drank together.