The photo on the homepage of Ed Smith’s website is worth a look. It is from an actual photo shoot. We haven’t exactly done extensive research on this, but booking a photo shoot to get some pictures of yourself would seem to us to be quite an unusual thing for a broadcaster to do.
As an ex-cricketer – one who played three Tests for England – you’d think Smith might go for something from his playing days. But this is not how Ed Smith sees himself any more. Ed Smith’s Twitter handle is @EdSmithWriter.
But back to that photo. He is in a suit and tie, walking across one of those featureless photographic backgrounds where there is no wall or floor, only a great expanse of grey.
- Where is he going? Deeper into the grey void, presumably.
- What is he looking at? Something above and slightly behind him, judging by his eyes. The thing is not a pterodactyl because Ed looks very calm, bordering on contemptuous. If it’s possible to look down your nose at something above you, Ed is doing that.
The photograph is highly airbrushed.
The reason why we are talking about Ed Smith is because he was made semi-redundant today (a fate that also befell us a few months ago, funnily enough). He has had his hours cut.
While Test Match Special will continue throughout the British summer, it has lost the rights to cover England’s next couple of winter tours to a radio station we’re going to refer to as Talk Sport, even though the name is supposed to be written as talkSPORT.
Talk Sport has a cricket track record. It has covered the last two years of the IPL, plus the World Twenty20 in 2016 and the Champions Trophy last summer. It last did an England tour in 2005. You can find Talk Sport on medium wave or via digital means.
The BBC will presumably be very unhappy.
Ed Smith will be less concerned because Lizzy Ammon is reporting that he has been named as England’s new national selector.
Maybe Smith is looking at “the axe” in that photo on his homepage and is feeling faintly smug at having fully evaded what had promised to be a glancing but still debilitating blow.