The Flanders & Swann Story

They remain an extremely under-rated duo. Michael Flanders is a great English wit, up there with Noel Coward and Wodehouse, but largely forgotten today. Tim Rice was an enthusiastic presenter, and Ian Hislop a welcome contributor. I love the duo’s ‘Song Of Patriotic Prejudice’, citing the trouble with foreigners: “They argue with umpires/ They cheer when they’ve won/ And they practice beforehand/ Which ruins the fun”.

Their LPs were produced by George Martin. Flanders died in 1975 aged only 53. Swann went on to set to music some of his friend J.R.R. Tolkien’s poems. All together now “Mud, mud, glorious mud…”