THIS week’s Angler’s Mail magazine has the ultimate report on Two Tone’s sad death and reaction. Plus the mag has the story and pictures of a “record-in-waiting” that has just been caught for the first time at 61 lb 6 oz.
Here, as promised in our special coverage (pages 3-6) is Angler’s Mail reporter Ben Weir’s Two Tone blog.
Exclusive to this regularly updated new-look website, experienced angling journalist Ben tells you what might not be obvious from the outside.
BEN WEIR’S TWO TONE BLOG
IT STARTED back on a Saturday afternoon and I received a text from a carpy mate that Two Tone has passed away.
I’n a word: gutted. Not because I was, have or ever would have fished for him. My sadness was felt in a different way to those who had tried to catch the biggest carp in Britain.
Over the last eight years of working on the Mail newsdesk I’ve spent many an hour tracking down captors and waiting for pictures to drop.
There was always the “in” joke, just as we were going to press that “TWO TONE’S BEEN OUT!!”… which on a couple of occasions was actually true.
Some captures, or to be more precise, captors, were more difficult than others. Some needed persuading, others couldn’t be more eager to tell the World they had achieved their dream.
During that time I had seen this impressive fish grown. It grew and grew and grew, breaking records that may never be bettered. Or at least not for some time.
Always on-hand during this time, there was also Mid-Kent Fisheries gaffer Chris Logsdon who I am sure will be left reeling from this.
Back in the Mail HQ on the Monday morning and the only thing on anyone’s lips was the sad news from the weekend.
The office chat is all about Two Tone. Stories such as having to travel down to Conningbrook to collect pictures from captors who had decided to “celebrate” the catch for a few more days than intended. To the heartbreak of finding out the captor had already been reached, and opted to go exclusive with another publication.
During the afternoon I receive a call from a friend who works for The Sun saying a news agency had released the story, and would I be good for a quote? After a quick chat and me firing off my mugshot to her, the job’s a good ‘un.
Tuesday morning and I am chuckling to myself as the quote had in fact been used as a MYsay piece in The Sun’s page lead on Two Tone. Later, their piece and my quote had gained BBC Magazine Monitor status – which means it was big news.
It’s at this point it dawns on me that we are in for a busy day, as was the case when Benson’s death took front page of The Times last year.
The train journey to work is punctuated by friends texting me about my appearance in The Sun. Within minutes of unlocking my office phone I receive a call from the BBC enquiring about a contact for Lee Jackson, who famously caught the big ‘un and set a new British best. I duly point them in the direction of Kent’s Tackle Box, where the likeable Lee works.
The phone rings again and it’s the BBC asking if I was good for a quick interview for their news channel. Having done a few media bits in the past for the snakehead story, amongst others, a few years back, I agree.
I receive the text to tell me the car sent to our London HQ by the BBC is waiting. En route we go straight past the Millbank Studios, situated at the rear of the Houses of Parliament, where previous pre-records have been conducted for various radio and television interviews from other wider interest stories.
We head towards the main BBC Studios at Shepherds Bush, West London…and I’m met by throngs of tourists being given a guided tour. They take in the delights including some strange artwork adorning the wall behind the main reception area – I’m informed it “represents broadcasting” – but I confess I cannot see it myself.
I’m soon led away into the vast series of studios heading for my interview. The young lady enquires: ‘You should be fine, having done this before.’ ‘Done what?’ I reply. She looked back sheepishly and asks ‘Live news interviews?’ ‘No’ is my reply.
Before you know it I am ‘mic’d up’ and walking across the BBC News 24 Studio to take my place alongside Jon Sopel – World-renowned politics journalist. Jon greets me with a strong handshake, and cue – we are live.
Questions and comments fly thick and fast, the matter conducted in a light hearted, humorous manner. But I feel like I’ve done as well as anyone could have to purvey the importance of Two Tone and what he meant to those who angled for him… without over-playing the issue. You can just sense it’s a far cry from reporting on the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, which Jon fronted in 2001.
Once I am back in the office there are further enquiries. I swear if one more local radio DJ comes out with the ‘Ben Weir – what an appropriate name’ gag, I will scream!
It’s been a long day and there is an ice-cold pint of Fosters with my name written all over it, before getting on with the business of putting together a very special Two Tone piece of our own for the latest issue of Angler’s Mail (on sale now).
MEDIA LINKS YOU MUST NOW CHECK OUT…
There’s been a lot on the internet since Two Tone died. Here are some places worth clicking:
- Must-see 4-minute video of Oz Holness and pals weighing and photographing Two Tone at its record weight (67 lb 8 oz, after later scales checks). Watch it HERE
- A straight one-minute report from ITN’s coverage of Two Tone’s death – HERE
- BBC’s short report, also from Conningbrook soon after the death – HERE
- A one-minute Two Tone picture tribute compilation set to music – HERE
- And finally… some young joker called Kurt expressing his “grief” – HERE
- Twice Angler’s Mail Carp Cup champion Jim Shelley recounts his capture of Two Tone over on the Dynamite Baits website. It’s a good read – click HERE
- The Sun’s report, quoting Ben Weir – read it HERE
- The report above makes big new with the BBC’s review – see it HERE
- Angler’s Mail report on when Oz Holness caught Two Tone to set the current record – HERE
- Mid-Kent Fisheries, who run Conningbrook and other great South East waters (not just for carp anglers). For Two Tone comment, venue info and more – click HERE
Feel free to leave your comments below…