Commentating legend’s former home in Alderney is for sale
JOHN ARLOTT’S former home in Alderney has gone up for sale.
The famous cricket commentator lived on the island for more than a decade after he retired from the BBC in 1980 until his death aged 77 in 1991.
The house, which is on the market for £2.45m., is one of Alderney’s most prestigious homes.
Set within one-and-a-half acres of walled gardens, the six-bedroom property was formerly a private hotel.
On a wall, a blue plaque commemorates the broadcaster and author.
Estate agent Bell & Co’s managing director, Andrew Eggleston, who sold Mr Arlott the house in 1978, said that the commentator had always had an infinity with Alderney.
‘He actually started coming here in the 1950s with his first wife and owned a holiday cottage here.
‘We became friends and every six weeks or so we used to go drinking at lunchtime. He would sit at the head of the table, and give you a monologue of anecdotes. You could only drink wine from these great big goblets. He was lethal.’
While living on Alderney, Mr Arlott would spend his summer commentating on the home matches of the island’s cricket club.
‘With his fantastic fruity voice, he would sit on the clubhouse balcony with a bottle of wine and commentate through a loudspeaker,’ said Mr Eggleston.
Mr Arlott was known for his distinctive countryman’s voice and poetic phraseology, once describing a shot by former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd as ‘the stroke of a man knocking a thistle top off with a walking stick’.
As well as a cricket commentator, who called several Muratti finals for the BBC, Mr Arlott was a poet, journalist and a wine buff.
He was famous for his friendship with another one-time Alderney resident, Lord Botham, who he converted into a wine buff and also encouraged to buy a property in Alderney.
During the last seven years of Mr Arlott’s life they often shared meals together at the house whenever the great England all-rounder was staying on the island.
After his death in 1991, Lord Botham said of his friend: ‘He was cricket, there has never been a commentator like him and there never will be.’