– the official website


Brian Johnston’s Down Your Way, Volume 1

Down Your WayBrian Johnston
Audio CD (4 March 2010)
BBC Audiobooks; ISBN: 978-1408426463
Buy Now!

Down Your Way was one of the most popular programmes on radio and spanned six decades. Every week the presenter would visit towns and villages throughout the UK, discovering fascinating people and places. Brian Johnston presented the series for fifteen years and 733 programmes. For this recording, his son Barry has selected the most eccentric, famous and interesting people, and the most colourful places, that his father visited on his travels.

Along the way Brian meets such famous people as Sir Roger Bannister, HRH Prince Philip, Denis Compton and John Laurie (Private Frazer in Dad’s Army), as well as Frank Searle, who has spotted the Loch Ness Monster. Brian also takes in Land’s End, Alice Springs, and even goes underground to visit the Cabinet War Rooms and the Bank of England’s gold vault.

Brian Johnston’s Down Your Way, Volume 2

Down Your Way 2Brian Johnston
Audio CD (10 November 2011)
BBC Audiobooks; ISBN: 978 – 1408467312
Buy Now!
‘Down Your Way’, was one of the most popular programmes on BBC Radio from 1946 until 1992. Every week the presenter would visit a different city, town or village in the UK and interview six local people about its history, traditions and customs. Brian Johnston presented the series for fifteen years and for this recording, his son Barry has selected more of the fascinating people and places that his father visited on his travels.

Brian meets famous people such as the former England footballer Nat Lofthouse, Australian cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman, and steeplejack and TV personality Fred Dibnah, as well as marvellous local characters, including the British snuff champion, a lady gurning champion, and a Scottish sheep shearer. He also takes a boat trip down the River Thames, visits Tower Bridge and Abbey Road studios, and goes to Salisbury Cathedral and Wigan Pier.

Released for the first time on audio, this delightful recording illustrates the rich and colourful heritage of the people and places of Great Britain.

An Evening with Johnners

An Evening with JohnnersBrian Johnston
Audio CD (2 November 2000)
Hodder & Stoughton General; ISBN: 1840324651
Buy Now!

In 1993 at the age of eighty, Brian Johnston embarked on his first ever nationwide concert tour. His one-man show An Evening With Johnners was a sell-out across the country and the recording of his show became the best-selling Spoken Word production in the UK for more than six months. It even entered the pop album charts and was awarded a Gold Disc Award for sales of more than 100,000.

Brian was a master raconteur and he had the audiences in gales of laughter as he recalled many of the gaffes and humorous anecdotes from his life at Eton and Oxford, his service with the Guards and his 48 years in broadcasting. Now An Evening with Johnners has been digitally remastered and re-edited to include previously unreleased material from Brian’s second tour at the end of 1993. This is a superb opportunity to hear one of cricket’s greatest storytellers.

An Evening with Johnners (Centenary Edition)

An Evening with Johnners, centenary editionBrian Johnston –  Edited by Barry Johnston
Hardcover (10 May 2012)
Quiller Publishing: ISBN: 978 – 1846891397
Buy Now!

In 1993 Brian Johnston embarked on a nationwide tour of his one man show An Evening with Johnners. The tour was a sell-out and a recording of one of the shows became a number one bestseller and was awarded a Gold Disc.

This book was first published in 1996 and contains all the material from the original recording as well as additional stories from Brian’s final tour before he died in January 1994. Brian’s skill and warmth as a master raconteur shine through on every page as he recalls his early years at Eton and Oxford, his war service with the Grenadier Guards, and his remarkable broadcasting career at the BBC. There are hundreds of hilarious memories, stories and anecdotes, and he also describes the famous ‘leg-over’ incident.

This special centenary edition has been updated by the editor, Brian’s eldest son Barry Johnston, and includes new illustrations by John Ireland.

The Wit of Cricket

The Wit of CricketCompiled by Barry Johnston
Paperback: 290 pages (27 May 2010)
Hodder & Stoughton; ISBN: 978-0007343096
Buy Now!

A bumper collection of the funniest anecdotes, jokes and stories from cricket’s best-loved personalities proves that cricket is a funny game – even when rain stops play!

Now you can read not only the most popular stories by five of the game’s all-time great characters – Richie Benaud, Dickie Bird, Henry Blofeld, Brian Johnston and Fred Trueman – but also the humour of modern players including Michael Atherton, Andrew Flintoff, Darren Gough, Kevin Pietersen, Shane Warne and many others.

Here are dozens of hilarious anecdotes about legendary Test cricketers such as Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Denis Compton, Michael Holding and Merv Hughes – not to mention broadcasting gaffes, sledging, short-sighted umpires and the first male streaker at Lord’s!

Johnners: The Life of Brian

Johnners - The Life Of Brian Barry Johnston
Paperback: 384 pages (10 May 2004)
Coronet; ISBN: 0340824719
Buy Now!

With his schoolboy humour and distinctive, cheerful voice, ‘Johnners’ was a friend to millions of radio listeners and when he died in 1994 at the age of 81, the Daily Telegraph described him as ‘the greatest natural broadcaster of them all’. Born in 1912, Brian had an idyllic childhood in Hertfordshire until he was ten years old, when his father drowned on a seaside holiday.

After going to Eton and Oxford he wanted to be an actor, but was persuaded to join the family coffee business in the City. When war broke out he served with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in Normandy and was awarded the Military Cross. After being demobbed Brian joined the BBC in January 1946. His remarkable broadcasting career spanned 48 years and made him a household name as a cricket commentator and on programmes such as In Town Tonight and Down Your Way.

Barry Johnston has had exclusive access to his father’s letters and has interviewed dozens of his friends and colleagues to offer the full story of the man behind the microphone. It includes his controversial sacking from television and his re-emergence as a much-loved figure on Test Match Special.

A Further Slice of Johnners.

A Further Slice of JohnnersBrian Johnston
Edited and introduced by Barry Johnston
Paperback – 400 pages (10 July 2003)
Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753507900
Buy Now!

In this third and final anthology in the popular Slice of Johnners series, Barry Johnston has edited highlights from three more of his father’s books, It’s Been A Lot of Fun, Brian Johnston’s Down Your Way and More Views From The Boundary.

This anthology covers Brian’s early days, from his childhood in Hertfordshire, his school days at Eton and Oxford, his job in the family coffee business in the City and his service with the Grenadier Guards during World War Two.

There is also a selection of the most memorable characters and locations from his fifteen years on the Radio Four programme Down Your Way. Finally there is a collection of Brians ‘View From The Boundary’ interviews on Test Match Special, including conversations with Eric Idle, John Major and Peter O’Toole.

Another Slice of Johnners.

Another Slice of JohnnersBrian Johnston
Edited and introduced by Barry Johnston
Paperback – 400 pages (4 July 2002)
Virgin Publishing; ISBN: 0753506289
Buy Now!

Brian Johnston began to take an interest in cricket when he was about six. One day his eldest brother Michael threw him a tennis ball and shouted, ‘I’m Jack Hearne, you’re Patsy Hendren.’ From that moment on Patsy became Brian’s hero and he had embarked on a lifelong love of the summer game.

Following the success of A Delicious Slice of Johnners, Barry Johnston has edited another delightful anthology based on three of his father’s most popular books, Brian Johnston’s Guide to Cricket, Chatterboxes and It’s Been a Piece of Cake.

Another Slice of Johnners is a witty and affectionate collection of anecdotes and reminiscences about Brian Johnston’s fellow commentators, his selection of the six most exciting Test matches and his all-time favourite cricketers, from Len Hutton and Denis Compton to Ian Botham.

A Delicious Slice of Johnners.

A delicious slice of JohnnersBrian Johnston
Edited and introduced by Barry Johnston
Paperback – 386 pages new edition (5 July 2001)
Virgin Publishing; ISBN: 0753505096
Buy Now!

Brian Johnston was a man who admitted: ‘I have this absurd hankering to make people laugh.’ He also summed up his books as ‘the meanderings of a remarkably happy and lucky person, to whom life, like cricket, is a funny game and still a lot of fun.’

Edited and introduced by his eldest son, Barry, A Delicious Slice of Johnners is a wonderfully enjoyable compendium of three of Johnners’ best-loved books, the autobiographies It’s Been a Lot of Fun and It’s a Funny Game, and Rain Stops Play, a collection of his favourite anecdotes, jokes and stories.

Here are the highlights of an extraordinary broadcasting career. The great state occasions such as the funeral of King George VI and the Coronation, the royal weddings of Princess Margaret and Princess Anne, and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. From his early radio success in the forties on In Town Tonight to the final critical and public acclaim on Test Match Special. Here too are all the famous gaffes, practical jokes and leg-pulls.

‘A high quality compilation. This book is beautifully presented and easy to read in every sense’ The Cricketer

Brian Johnston Scholarships And Awards 2014

The BJMT Awards Panel met on 23rd April 2014 at the Lord’s Taverners headquarters in London to make the annual Brian Johnston Scholarship Awards. A total of £45,000 was given in scholarships, grants and awards to help promising young cricketers to fulfil their sporting potential. Once again we are grateful for the generosity and support of all our Johnners Club members, who have enabled us to make these awards.

(1) ECB Recommended Scholars.

On the recommendation of the ECB Performance Department, Brian Johnston Cricket Scholarships totalling more than £13,000 were awarded to the following young cricketers to assist them with travelling expenses so that they can attend their coaching and training sessions:

  • Aaron Beard, Essex (16): Aaron is a right arm fast bowler on the Essex Academy and was selected for the England Development Programme last year at Under 17 level.
  • Hugh Bernard, Kent (17): A right arm medium fast bowler and right hand batsman Hugh is a new scholar on the Kent Academy, having come through the Kent Performance Squads programme over the last two years.
  • Mark Best, Warwickshire (18): Mark is currently in his third year in the Academy having progressed from the Emerging Players programme. He has performed for the youth squads over the last 7-8 years. He is a left-handed opening batsman, suited to the longer format of the game with the ability to bat for long periods of time.
  • Callum Brodrick, Derbyshire (15): This is Callum’s second year on the Academy. Last season he made great progress making his County 2nd XI debut. He is a highly talented cricketer and all-round sportsman. He was also granted a Brian Johnston Scholarship in 2013.
  • Jack Burnham, Durham: Jack is a top order batsman who has played for Durham at all levels since he was 8 years old and is currently on the Durham Academy. He has come through the ranks and scored heavily at every level and also bowls a good medium pace.
  • Reece Carr, Durham: A top order batsman, Reece has forced his way into the Durham Academy as a result of his performances in club cricket and for Durham Cricket Board at Under 17 level. He bowls brisk medium pace and is an excellent fielder.
  • Karl Carver, Yorkshire (18): On the Yorkshire Academy and selected for the England U19 team during 2013, Karl was involved in winter tours leading to the Under 19 World Cup. During the 2013 season he was a regular county 2nd XI player and was included in the 1st XI squad for the final game of the season. He was also granted a Brian Johnston Scholarship in 2013.
  • James Clifford, Essex (17): A right hand bat and right arm off spin bowler and in his second year on the Essex Academy, James played a valuable role for the Essex Under 17 in 2013. He is also a regular member for Chelmsford CC in the Essex Premier League.
  • Jim Clifford, Warwickshire (16): Jim is currently in his first year on the Warwickshire Academy having progressed from the Emerging Players programme. He is an opening batsman who for the last two season has scored more runs than any other player in the youth system. He is a hard-hitting batsman and one of the best slip fielders at Warwickshire.
  • Courtney Coulson, Durham (16): In 2013 Courtney played the Durham County Under 15 and Under 17 teams as well as the Durham Ladies 1st team. She also made the England Under 15 Development Squad.
  • Joseph Emanuel, Middlesex (15): An opening batsman and first change bowler, Joseph has been involved in the Middlesex set up since he was 8 years old. He was also granted a Brian Johnston Scholarship in 2013.
  • Grace Gibbs, Kent (18): Grace is a right arm medium bowler and right hand batsman currently studying for a sports coaching degree at Brighton University. She has been involved with the England Women’s Academy and Under 19 programmes over the last twelve months and is a new scholar on the Kent Academy.
  • Jake Goodwin, Hampshire (15): A talented seam bowling all-rounder, Jake represented the South and South West region at the Bunbury Festival in 2012 and 2013. This is his first year on the Academy and he is expected to remain on it for another eighteen months.
  • Adam Hickey, Durham: A top order batsman, Adam bowls good off spin and is a very promising prospect. He is another member of the Durham Academy.
  • Max Holden, Middlesex (16): Max started his cricket career in Cambridgeshire where he was the County Player of the Year at U10, U11, U12 and U13 age groups. He was selected to the Middlesex Academy when he was 13, the youngest player ever to be given an Academy contract. He was Middlesex All-Rounder Player of the Year, having played for U14 and U15 in 2012. In 2013 he played for Middlesex U15, U17, U19 and County 2nd XI, and has recently been selected for the England Development Programme.
  • Charlie Home, Northamptonshire: A very promising all-round cricketer, Charlie is an opening batsman and off spin bowler. During 2013 he made his debut for Shifnal CC in the Birmingham League with considerable success as a bowler. He also saved a game batting down the order in the face of some hostile adult bowling.
  • Mosun Hussain, Yorkshire (17): A Yorkshire Academy player for the 2013/14, Mosun was retained by the ECB as part of the EDP programme. During the 2013 season Mosun played County 2nd XI cricket when EDP and education commitments permitted. He was also granted a Brian Johnston Scholarship in 2013.
  • Andrew Ireland, Durham: Andrew is a talented all-rounder who was selected for the England Representative Programme. He is expected to be a leading play for the Academy side this year and is likely to play for Cumberland in the Minor Counties and for Durham 2ndXI this summer. Was a Brian Johnston Scholar in 2012.
  • Steffan Roberts, Glamorgan: An exciting young batsman in his first year on the Academy, Steffan scored heavily for the Wales Under 17 team in 2013, including a century against Somerset when he was only 14.
  • Paige Schofield, Sussex: Paige is part of the Sussex Academy and a highly promising all-rounder who has been part of the Sussex Women’s Junior Squads for the last six years before she broke into the Sussex Senior team in 2013.
  • Sukhjit (Sunny) Singh, Warwickshire (17): Sunny is currently in his first year in the Warwickshire Academy having progressed from the County Age Group programme. He is a left arm spinner who emigrated from India about three years ago never having had any formal coaching. He has great potential and a really good work ethic.
  • Aaron Thomason, Warwickshire (16): Aaron is currently in his first year on the Warwickshire Academy having progressed from the Emerging Players programme. He has the ability to bowl at a good pace and is a hard-hitting no 6 batsman. He was selected in the squad of thirty players for the England Under 19 World Cup squad.

(2) Blind Cricket.

The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust is proud to continue its support of cricket for the visually impaired and a grant of £7,000 was awarded to Blind Cricket England and Wales towards the cost of funding their fifth annual development weekend at the University of Leicester in September 2014, designed to introduce players and teams from around the country to blind cricket.

An additional grant of £5,000 was given to Cricket 4 Change (C4C) to further develop their girls-specific cricket initiative that offers blind and visually impaired school children the opportunity to participate in out of school cricket clubs. This year C4C is organising the first-ever international womens’ blind cricket match in Nepal and the Brian Johnston Memorial Trust is proud to be one of the sponsors.

 (3) BJMT Elite Spin Bowling Programme.

The Brian Johnston Memorial Trust has agreed to continue its sponsorship of the BJMT Elite Spin Bowling Programme in association with the ECB. All eighteen of the first class Counties and UCCEs are now participating in this programme that aims to encourage and develop the art of spin bowling in England and Wales by providing funds for additional coaching at Academy level.