The Greatest Show on Earth

The Greatest Show on Earth : Behind the Microphone at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

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The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is one of the greatest shows on earth. Around 220,000 people attend each year. It is seen on TV by a further 100 million.

Alasdair Hutton is the Voice of the Tattoo.

This book is the story of the Tattoo, told by the Narrator and prefaced by a short history of tattoos pre-Edinburgh and a history of the Tattoo pre-Alasdair.

With an ever-changing cast of over 1,000 performers, each year's show is unique. Some elements remain unchanged - the spine-tingling Lone Piper playing on the Castle ramparts, the cacophony of sound that is the closing massed pipes and drums, the welcoming voice of Alasdair Hutton as you arrive.

Ladies and gentlemen, take your seats, the Greatest Show on Earth is about to begin.

For the last 25 years, Alasdair Hutton has told our story to each of our audiences since he started in 1992 - a total live audience of over 5 million people. Not only has he been behind the microphone without fail, in Edinburgh and when we have taken the show abroad, but he has also researched and written the script. Alasdair's most precious talents are his voice, his sense of timing and his feel for occasion. Alasdair Hutton is above all one of life's great gentlemen. Not only is he impeccably polite but he has great charisma, values and a wonderful sense of purpose. This book, which is Alasdair's own story - only a small part of it! - gives a sense of the huge contribution he has made to the remarkable institution of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. From the foreword by brigadier David Allfrey
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 157 x 201 x 12mm | 440g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1910745693
  • 9781910745694
  • 1,192,538

Table of contents




First Act - A Brief History of Tattoos

Second Act - Why Edinburgh?

Third Act - 1992 How I Got the Job

Fourth Act - 1992-94 Major Michael Parker

Fifth Act - 1995-99 Brigadier Melville Jameson

Sixth Act - 2000-06 Brigadier Melville Jameson

Seventh Act - 2007-10 Major General Euan Loudon

Eighth Act - 2011-16 to the Present Brigadier David Allfrey

Ninth Act - Edinburgh Military Tattoos Overseas

Tenth Act - Mini Tattoos and Others in the UK

Eleventh Act - Other Tattoos Overseas

Twelfth Act - The Silver Year
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Review quote

About Alasdair Hutton

Alasdair Hutton has been writer and narrator of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo since 1992 and has written and introduced hundreds of events and concerts in Scotland and around the world. As well as writing the history of the 15th Scottish Volunteer Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, to which he belonged for 22 years, he is author of two books for children, The Tattoo Fox and The Tattoo Fox Makes New Friends. He has worked for the BBC in Scotland and Northern Ireland and was Member of the European Parliament for the South of Scotland and Convener of Scottish Borders Council. He lives in the Scottish Borders town of Kelso.
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