Bernard BRADEN (1916-1993)

Bernard Braden
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Bernard Braden, Canadian-born actor and broadcaster, was surprised by Michael Aspel outside London’s Aldwych Theatre.

Bernard found fame on BBC radio with shows such as Breakfast with Braden, before moving into television where he originated the consumer affairs programme in the 1960s with On the Braden Beat and Braden’s Week.

“Thank you very much!”

Kelly Braden recalls her parents and their experience of This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in March 2012

Screenshots of Bernard Braden This Is Your Life (click images to enlarge)

The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls the experience of this particular edition of This Is Your Life in his book This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...

Fifteen years before 28 November 1990, we had thought of presenting the Life of Bernard Braden, but the plot was 'blown' by one of his grandchildren.

But Bernie had no idea what was happening when Michael Aspel sprang outside the Aldwych Theatre in the West End where, forty years before, Bernard Braden had co-starred with Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Laurence Olivier.

Back in those days Bernard and his wife Barbara Kelly, newly arrived from Canada, were hailed as entertainment's 'golden couple'.

In Vancouver he had left school at sixteen to work at the local radio station as engineer, announcer and singer.

Bedtime With Braden established Bernard and Barbara, and from those halcyon radio days came writers Frank Muir and Denis Norden, Pearl Carr, Benny Lee, Nat Temple and announcer Ronald Fletcher.

And an international Canadian film director, penniless when he arrived in London with only a letter of introduction to Bernard and Barbara, greeted them from the location, in Connecticut, of his latest film - Norman Jewison.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 797
  • Subject No: 784
  • Broadcast date: Wed 16 Jan 1991
  • Recording date: Wed 28 Nov 1990
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: Teddington Studios
  • Series: 31
  • Edition: 13

on the guest list...

  • Barbara Kelly
  • Alfred Marks
  • Spike Milligan
  • Denis Norden
  • Frank Muir
  • Pearl Carr
  • Benny Lee
  • Nat Temple
  • Ronald Fletcher
  • Miriam Karlin
  • Kelly - daughter
  • Chris – son
  • Anthony Valentine
  • Betsy Blair
  • Kim – daughter
  • Matthew & Jemima - grandchildren
  • Filmed tributes:
  • William Shatner
  • Norman Jewison
  • Gerald Harper

external links...

production team...

  • Researchers: Elizabeth Ross, Tom Wettengel
  • Writer: Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Brian Klein, Terry Yarwood
  • Associate Producer: John Graham
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 31 subjects: Lord Brabourne > Graham Gooch > Norman Barrett > Richard Harris > Tracy Edwards > Stephen Hendry > Robert Pountney > Jimmy Savile > Evelyn Laye > Ernie Wise > Kenneth Mckellar > Tom Gleave > Bernard Braden > Barry Foster > Carmen Silvera > Arthur Hailey > Tony Hatch & Jackie Trent > The Bee Gees > John Woodhouse > Evelyn Glennie > David Tomlinson > Dave Willetts > Harry Carpenter > Lionel Bart > Stan Richards > Lonnie Donegan