The Big Red Book - a celebration of This Is Your Life...
Big Red Book

... a simple premise for a television show. A surprise encounter and an unexpected reunion. The host reveals the life story of the unsuspecting ‘subject’ with the help of a Big Red Book and a gathering of family and friends.

That formula became one of the most popular programmes on British television ever, running almost 50 years, producing over 1000 editions, and, in the process, becoming a British institution.

At the peak of its popularity, in the 1970s and 80s, millions of television viewers regularly tuned in every Wednesday at 7pm with excited anticipation of whose name would be embossed on that week’s Big Red Book...

This website is a celebration of the show and the lives it honoured. Open the Big Red Book to reveal a record of every UK edition from 1955-2003 and learn about the series, the subjects and the sets as we turn back the pages of one of the best loved television treasures of all time.

So, as the man said ... “if you look at that screen over there...”

Jack Crawshaw - former researcher, writer, and producer of This Is Your Life:

"Big Red Book is a living archive - a unique and illuminating document, which combines a mass of historical data with a fund of fond memories of our much loved programme.

A well researched, and conscientiously collated, This Is Your Life, This Is Your Life."

New additions...                
Liza Goddard   Alvin Stardust   Alex Norton   Paul Daniels   Hylda Baker
The actress recalls her 1984 tribute in an exclusive interview
The actor and rock singer - and husband of Liza Goddard – was surprised a year later, in 1985
Scottish born actor who was the last actor handed the Big Red Book in the programme’s final series in 2003
A magical surprise from 1988 for television’s top rated magician
  Hylda BAKER
The comedienne and former music hall performer honoured in 1972
Ranulph Fiennes   Graham Cole   Ian Ogilvy   Frazer Hines   Dale Winton
The explorer was surprised shortly after his return from his three year long Transglobe Expedition in 1982
  Graham COLE
A 1997 edition featuring the actor best known for his role in ITV’s police drama series, The Bill
The actor - currently enjoying success as television's Simon Templer in The Saint - was caught out in 1979
  Frazer HINES
A 1992 edition paying tribute to the actor best known for television’s Doctor Who and Emmerdale
The television presenter was the first subject of the new millennium broadcast in January 2000
Recent additions...   subjects from the 1975-6 series...            
Mike Hailwood   Betty Driver   Ray Milland   Gareth Edwards   Bill Tidy
Mike's wife Pauline recalls 'one of the greatest Grand Prix racers of all time' in an exclusive interview
  Betty DRIVER
In another exclusive interview the Coronation Street favourite is remembered by award winning writer Stephen Bourne
Welsh-born actor - best remembered for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend
  Gareth EDWARDS
Welsh rugby union scrum-half, described by many as “arguably the greatest player ever to don a Welsh jersey”
  Bill TIDY
Newspaper cartoonist - best known for his comic strip The Cloggies
Windsor Davies   Ray Reardon   Patrick Mower   Alberto Remedios   Percy Thrower
Windsor DAVIES
Actor – best known as the bullying Sergeant Major Williams in the BBC sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum
The first snooker player to be a This Is Your Life subject
  Patrick MOWER
Actor who had scored success in television's Callan and Special Branch
  Alberto REMEDIOS
Operatic tenor - noted for his interpretations of Wagner’s roles
The leading face and voice of British gardening on television and radio
This Is Your Life titles   Barbara Windsor   This Is Your Life set   TV Times article   Jenny Seagrove
Check out the subject lists year by year - from series 1 to 43
Search the full A-Z list of 1104 subjects from Abbot to Zarb
Discover more about the show and lives of those it featured
Delve into the archives for more insight into the show's history
An expanding online archive of exclusive interviews
Series 16 titles   Timeline   Series 7 titles   Big Red Book   Behind The Scenes feature
Series 16
The full line up of subjects from the 26 episodes of This Is Your Life produced by Thames Television between 1975-76
A chronology of the show's fifty year history
  The first BBC period
There's now an entry for every one of the 256 subjects featured between 1955 and 1964
  A Life Refused:
A look at the names who said 'No' to the Big Red Book.
  Behind The Scenes:
Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley reveals the show's best kept secrets
From the archives:                
Jean Kent   Vince Hill   Sylvia Young   Stirling Moss   Nicholas Parsons
The actress remembered for her roles in many British films of the 1940s - recalls her experience of This Is Your Life in an interview from 2011
  Vince HILL
Popular singer and songwriter interviewed in 2010
  Sylvia YOUNG
In an interview recorded in 2013 the founder and principal of the famous theatre school recalls her appearance on This Is Your Life
  Stirling MOSS
The Formula One racing driver recalls his 1959 tribute in an interview recorded in 2013
  Nicholas PARSONS
Television presenter and actor - best known for presenting the ITV game show Sale of the Century - interviewed in 2015