Culture vulture

20th February 2004 at 00:00
Andrew Hignell would be lost without his cricket and choirs

Favourite books

Simon Winchester's The Map That Changed the World. It's about the way people made the first geological maps, just using their eyes and making observations about the landscape and rock layers without all the drilling and seismological data and electronic tools of the trade.

Max Hastings' books on war: D-Day and the Battle of Normandy and The Battle for the Falklands. I've taught boys with ADHD and I was so glad that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time won the Whitbread. I love Captain Corelli's Mandolin; you can't beat a bit of romance from time to time. And Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, about a racehorse that everyone has given up on. But my best books ever would have to be the Lone Pine Club series by Malcolm Saville, which I read when I was nine. They were about youngsters having fantastic adventures in which good always triumphed over evil.

Cricket commentary

I do live commentary for BBC Radio Wales. I've also written 14 books about cricket, including books about Gloucestershire and Glamorgan cricket clubs, and two biographies of players: Wilf Wooller, who captained Glamorgan at cricket and played rugby for Wales, and Maurice Turnbull, also a rugby player and cricketer, who served in the Welsh Guards and died just after the Normandy landings.

Best film

Saving Private Ryan. It was exactly as Maurice described it in his diaries and letters. I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I must confess, half a bottle of Scotch disappeared that night.

Heart's song

I grew up in Wales and I still listen to Welsh male voice choirs. My ideal CD would be a combination of Bryn Terfel (pictured) and the Morriston male voice choir singing "Ar Lang y Mor" (Along the Sea Shore), a romantic ballad.

Treat in store

The heroic romantic part of me is looking forward to an exhibition about sport and war at the Imperial War Museum North, opening in July.

Andrew Hignell, 44, is head of geography at Wells Cathedral School, Somerset. His books include Turnbull: A Welsh Hero (Tempus) and Rain Stopped Play: a geography of cricket (Frank Cass). He was talking to Karen Gold

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