I first met Tony Capstick over thirty years ago when he was doing one of his many charity gigs, this time at the Oasis Club in Rotherham. I knew the organizer of the event and in between his sets, Tony came and sat chatting with us. I was impressed from that day with his wit and earthiness.
I started listening to his show on BBC Radio Sheffield too many years ago to remember and several years ago I began writing whimsical, comical letters to him. With the advance in technology I sent faxes and eventually e-mails. Many times the content of the stuff I wrote him was riddled with double entendres as I loved to hear him try to read them straight, without cracking up, which he did many times. I loved making him laugh because anyone who knew Cappo will tell you his laugh was totally infectious. A few years ago my son Arron (Ace) and I decided it would be a good idea to record skits and send them to Cappo, he loved them and played them with enthusiasm. The first skit was based on Martyn Johnson, the ex-policeman metal detectorist who had a spot on Cappo’s show for a long time. I heard something In Martyn’s voice that I found would lend itself wonderfully to comedy. The first skit went down really well and from then on we did many, mainly based on Cappo, his regular guests, Martyn Johnson, Chris Mann, Steve Smith (Stand up solicitor) and the great local historian Mel Jones. We were eventually summoned to a “temperance meeting” and met with Tony, Gill Capstick, Martyn (Whom I had met before) and Chris Mann. A better night I can’t remember and we enjoyed the hospitality and generosity of the group. I have since spent happy hours with Tony and Gill Capstick in the “Rock.” Rockingham Arms Wentworth. I thank Gill for giving me the opportunity to make this the official Tony Capstick site. I have met many people through Cappo and regard them all as valued, steadfast friends.
We all shared the same sense of humour with TC, an element of that humour being the insulting of close pals, nothing nasty, just what we describe in the north as “Taking the piss.”
I remember one night; my son Arron and I were drinking with Cappo and talking about acting. I mentioned his many appearances in several TV shows and tongue in cheek, asked him if he could put me a good word in to get me a part in “Emmerdale” (The farming based soap in the UK.) He was about to take a drink but instead took the glass from his lips and said. “Lazlo...don’t you think they’ve got enough pigs in that show?”
Another time Tony was telling me how he had been made an honorary member of a local pub’s “Ratters society” I couldn’t resist and said. “Tone...don’t you mean rat arsed society.” He nearly choked on his drink but loved the remark so much that he repeated it to everyone who came into our company that night. On another occasion, I had taken my then 13 year old daughter for a pub meal at the Rock, when Tony came and sat with us. He looked at my daughter, Lauren, then at me and back at Lauren. Finally he turned to me and commented on how pretty she was, much to her embarrassment, and said “Lazlo, she’s too bloody good looking to be thine...thas’ abducted her.”
In my eyes Joseph Anthony Capstick was a genius. I have heard people talk about the late Wilfred Pickles and how, as a broadcaster he had the common touch, the ability to make anyone who listened to his broadcasts feel as if they knew him personally. Tony had that ability also. The ability without trying, without contrivance, to capture the hearts of listeners. It’s an aspect of character that cannot be faked. Some broadcasters, who shall remain nameless, try to, but the listener finds them out eventually. Cappo...I raise my glass to you, not only did they break the mould when they made you; they shattered it into a million pieces.
Note: I will include on this site some of the sketches/skits that we did for Cappo. I will try to obtain permission from the BBC to place recordings I have of Tony reading some of the many spoof/comic letters, faxes and e-mails etc. that I sent him over the years.