Billy Birmingham is an Australian humourist and sometime sports journalist, most noted for his parodies of Nine Network cricket commentary in recordings under The Twelfth Man name.
He has made the following albums of parodying sports commentary:
- 1987 - Wired World of Sports
- 1990 - 12th Man Again
- 1992 - Still The 12th Man
- 1994 - Wired World of Sports II
- 1997 - Bill Lawry...This Is Your Life
- 2001 - The Final Dig?
- 2006 - Boned
- Affably Evil: Max Walker is affable, but willing to commit acts of violence and obscenity in order to get his job back. The real Walker enjoyed this version of himself.
- Alliterative Name: Ken Sutcliffe's nickname in-universe is "The Male Model from Mudgee".
- As Himself: Ken Sutcliffe voiced himself on occasion, most notably Wired World of Sports II
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: He loves making PunnyNames using Australian English phases.
- In My Language, That Sounds Like...: Those Punny Names sound quite plausable (as some are takes on real names)
- Insistent Terminology: "Canary Yellow?! That's Australian Gold my friend, and don't you fuckin' forget it!"
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: Birmingham's debut single from '84, It's Just Not Cricket, has not been officially available in its entirety since 2009. Previously it was a bonus track on his debut album, but was replaced with Bruce 2000. The only official release currently available in a 5 minute excerpt from The Best of Richie (the full length track is over 10 minutes), though there is a vinyl rip of the original single on Youtube
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: When trying to pass himself off as West Indian Michael Holding, Max Walker doesn't bother to alter his voice at all, except for "mun" (man).
- Obligatory Swearing: And plenty of it on his albums.
- Ripped from the Headlines: As well as inventing wacky shenanigans, Birmingham exaggerates actual incidents in Australian sport, such as Tony Greig losing a key down a large crack in the pitch in Perth (Birmingham has him lose a shoe) and Bruce Reid's constant injuries (he snaps in half in Still The 12th Man). Bill Lawry...This is Your Life credits Lawry with nailing Richie Benaud's shoes to the floor; while that did happen, the prankster was actually Frank Tyson.
- Something Only They Would Say: At the start of Wired World of Sports II, Max Walker gets a call from Richie Benaud; however, he doesn't believe it's him because Richie has every reason to hate him - and does.
Richie Benaud: Max, it's Richie Benaud.
Max Walker: Yeah, right, who is it?
Richie Benaud: I told you, it's Richie Benaud.
Max Walker: Nah, fair dinkum, who is it?
Richie Benaud: Max, shut the fuck up! It's me, you dopey bastard!
Max Walker: Richie! It is you!
- Totally Radical: Invoked in-universe in Boned when the commentary team tries an image makeover to appeal to a younger audience and makes cringe-worthy attempts at hip-hop slang. Richie uses the malapropism "homos" instead of "homies" and refers to Andrew G from Channel V as Andrew V from Channel G (and as Andrew points out, he wasn't even working for Channel V anymore at the time).