BBC Radio 4, 26 May 2011
A droll little tale from the master of comic humour, who made his reputation
during his life time as much for his satirical pieces as for Winnie the Pooh. Read by Ian McNeice, this story anticipated
Stephen Potter's Oneupmanship series, about how to seem ridiculously well-informed on a subject, while knowing next
to nothing about it. The trick, it seems, is to insist on the rightness of one's point of view and denigrate others; if those
others take the trouble to check and prove you are wrong, they are not worth knowing. The game here is to keep up appearances;
if you can sustain an intellectual facade amongst casual acquaintances, then social success is guaranteed.
The tale evoked an era in the early twentieth century when clean-cut young men from
the Bertie Wooster stable, with a good education and minimal intellectual knowledge tried their best to advance in a socially
stratified society with a combination of energy, pluck and sheer joie de vivre. Drolly read by McNeice, who seemed
well aware of the narrator's ironic stance, "The Arrival of Blackman's Warbler" proved entertaining, if somewhat of a period-piece.
The producer was Neil Cargill.