The Grand Prix of Gibraltar

It was probably over twenty five years ago that I heard Peter Ustinov’s The Grand Prix of Gibraltar. I was somewhere in country Western Australia and I heard it on a country radio station. I remember being amazed by it back then and forever after searching for the album (you remember those big black vinyl things) in the comedy section of every record shop I’d visit.

I listened all the way through absolutely glued to the car radio as I heard a most hilarious calling of a motor race. There were race callers, drivers and all sorts of other people involved in the extremely funny parody of a race call. I was even more amazed once the album finished and the announcer mentioned that it was Peter Ustinov doing all the voices and all but one of the sound effects.

As well as looking in record shops over the years, I’ve tried to search for the recording online every now and then. Nothing. Then today I searched again to find that while I may never find it on vinyl, it’s now available on CD, which is even better.

I was totally flabbergasted to read a line from one of the reviews on Amazon about the recording.

Just for a second imagine there is a race around the rock of Gibraltar… and that we’re back in the 50s when racing cars still looked like cars. Well, sort of.  That was Peter Ustinov’s fabulous idea as he went into a Manhattan studio to record this gem. He finished it in one day, without script.

One day … without a script. The guy was a genius.

I had the pleasure of seeing Sir Peter Ustinov live twice at the Perth Concert Hall, several years apart. Both times he was absolutely captivating as he just stood or sat and told stories. He had the amazing ability to bring stories to life and I would have sat hours longer just to hear more of his wit and story telling. The Concert Hall was full on both occasions yet both times he made it feel like I was spending an evening chatting with an old friend.

I’d love to sit here and tell you more about Ustinov’s amazing talents but I’m off to order my copy of the CD. I suggest you do the same.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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