Dale WINTON (1955-)

Dale Winton
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Nicholas Parsons

Barbara Windsor

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Dale Winton, radio DJ and television personality, was surprised by Michael Aspel, on the set of the National Lottery, live on BBC television.

Dale began his entertainment career in 1982 on the London club circuit, where he DJ'd at weekends. He later found work with local radio stations, including Radio Trent in Nottingham.

After several television presenting jobs with Channel 4 and the Lifestyle Channel, Dale got his big break with the ITV daytime game show, Supermarket Sweep in 1993.

“Are we still on air?”

Screenshots of Dale Winton This Is Your Life

Dale Winton's autobiography

Dale recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, My Story...

For me, The National Lottery has never ceased to be what it is, the ultimate game show for a man whose dream was to be a game show host.

Offering the biggest prizes ever on TV, it’s a brilliant show – and I just love the opportunity it gives me to shed the sweatpants and sweatshirts I wear at home to go out shopping with Lynda for some more trendy clothes.

One story I often chuckle about when I’m on my way to the studio is that of the couple who went out to buy a bottle of wine after winning £1.5 million pounds, only to realise on their return home that they didn’t have a corkscrew.

The other one I take great satisfaction in is the survey that discovered that more people play The National Lottery than vote in the general election.

Whenever I host The Lottery, I step off the set so adrenalized that it takes me quite a while to come down to earth. But I came to earth with a colossal bump, eight days into the new millennium, January 2000, when the last man I had ever expected to gatecrash one of my live shows suddenly crept on to the stage and nabbed me.

It was Michael Aspel, the famous red book tucked under his arm, uttering the time-honoured words, ‘This Is Your Life.’

I don’t know how others react at such moments, but the look on my face said it all. I was really stunned. My knees buckled, my hands shook and my mouth gaped open in disbelief. ‘Can this be for real?’ was my first thought. Then, professional to what I felt could be my last breath, I said to Michael, ‘Are we still live and on the air?’

‘But of course,’ he replied.

The remainder of that night, which covered the story of how this one-time biscuit factory DJ became a household name, passed, as it must do for so many of Michael’s honoured guests, in a total flurry.

The stars who turned out for me included Michelle Collins, Davina McCall and Barbara Windsor. There were also contributions from Boy George, Cilla Black, Martine McCutcheon and Jim Davidson.

When Gary Bushell reviewed this show in the Sun, he simply couldn’t resist one of his cheeky PSs ‘Just to clear up any misunderstanding,’ he said, ‘when talking about Dale’s schooling, Aspel actually said that Dale had been a day boy.’

That was good clean fun, but the Sunday People’s coverage was not so amusing. Its front-page headline screamed: DALE’S TURNED HIS BACK ON HIS FAMILY … THERE WAS NO RELATIVE ON HIS THIS IS YOUR LIFE. Nobody was more upset than I was to discover that, having winkled out Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Joe, the journalist seemed to have prompted them into believing that I had snubbed them and had then backed this up with quotes that they were ‘deeply hurt and disappointed not to have been invited on to the show’ or to be ‘a member of the audience’.

But what the Sunday People journalist appeared to have chosen to ignore – and what my lovely Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Joe had not understood – is that the last person to know anything about his or her appearance on This Is Your Life is the subject of the show.

Given that all the preparations are made in secret, because it’s meant to be a huge surprise for the people whose life is being featured, that person has no control whatsoever over who is – or who is not – invited. Fortunately, one telephone call from me to my aunt and uncle laid that misunderstanding to rest.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 1035
  • Subject No: 1010
  • Broadcast date: Mon 17 Jan 2000
  • Broadcast time: 8.30-9pm
  • Recorded: Sat 8 Jan 2000
  • Venue: Teddington Studios
  • Series: 40
  • Edition: 10
  • Code: Hill

on the guest list...

  • Jan Kennedy
  • Mark Linsey
  • Barbara Windsor
  • Sue Miller
  • Lawrence Moore
  • Graham Dene
  • Steve Allen
  • Peter Tait
  • Alan Mann
  • Richard Holloway
  • Alistair Divall
  • Wendy Richard
  • Adam Woodyatt
  • Michele Collins
  • Nicholas Parsons
  • Davina McCall
  • Sarah Linsey
  • Benjamin - godson
  • Louis - godson
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Anthea Turner
  • Tony Blackburn
  • Boy George
  • Martine McCutcheon
  • Jim Davidson
  • Cilla Black

external links...

production team...

  • Researcher: Emma Dooley
  • Writer: Joe Steeples
  • Directors: John Gorman, Steve Docherty
  • Producer: Sue Green
  • Executive Producer: John Longley
  • Associate Producer: Helen Gordon-Smith
  • Series Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Roger Black > Hewitt Clark > Martin Kemp > Denise Welch > Rudolph Walker > Martin Jarvis > Stuart Hall > Rita Tushingham > Len Vale-Onslow > Dale Winton > Ian Wright > Marguerite Patten > Eddie Jordan > Dave Lee Travis > Harry Hill > David Vine > John Craven > Richard Dunwoody > Tom Baker > Laurie Holloway > Kay Mellor > Mark Wingett > Christopher Timothy > Suggs > Jason Leonard > Desmond Wilcox > Roger Kendall > Daniel O’Donnell