Ian OGILVY (1943-)

Ian Ogilvy
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An Actor's Life For Me

Spotlight on the stars of stage and screen

THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Ian Ogilvy, actor, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in central London.


Ian worked backstage at London’s Royal Court Theatre, before training as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Having graduated from RADA, Ian combined a career in theatre with a film career which saw him appearing in several low budget films, such as Revenge of the Blood Beast and Witchfinder General, both directed by his friend, Michael Reeves.


Ian also appeared in many television shows, including a regular role in ITV’s Upstairs, Downstairs, which led, in 1978, to his landing the lead role in the popular ITV series, Return of the Saint.


“Is this a hi-jack? I’m too young to die!”

Screenshots of Ian Ogilvy This Is Your Life

Ian Ogilvy's autobiography

Ian recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in her autobiography, Once A Saint: An Actor's Memoir...


This newfound celebrity led me inevitably to Eamonn Andrews and his big red book. I was a victim of This Is Your Life. One day a chauffeured limousine came to pick me up and drive me to an appointment with Columbia studios' publicity chief. Halfway there the driver asked if he could make a brief detour - he had a script he had to drop off. We ended up somewhere in suburbia. Ahead of us - and blocking our way - was a large white tent and a small film unit. Somebody waved us to a stop. My driver helpfully switched off his engine. I sat grumpily in the back seat and cursed under my breath at the delay. I was going to be late for my meeting with the publicity chief. . .


Then suddenly the flaps of the tent flew open and my familiar white Jaguar XJS roared out towards us. Ten feet away it slithered to a stop and Eamonn Andrews got out. He was carrying a big red book under one arm - which was when I realised that there was no Columbia publicity chief, or if there was one, I wasn't going to meet him.


For the next few hours I was a prisoner. There was no going home to change clothes (now I understood why Diane had insisted I wear my best suit), no calling agents or friends (in case you cried out to be rescued) - I was driven straight to the New London Theatre and put into a room and left alone with lots of fruit and sandwiches and soft drinks but no alcohol and somebody was posted outside to make sure I didn't escape. Not that I wanted to escape; I'd been a guest on several This Is Your Life shows - with old friends like Peter Barkworth, Christopher Cazenove and Simon Williams - and I was curious to know how it worked for the victim. I was also, rather obviously, flattered to be one.


The show included all the available (and presumably willing to put themselves out for the occasion) Saint girls who crowded one by one onto the stage and made a fuss of me, which was nice. Then Diane and both my children, who'd been given time off from school. A number of childhood friends and elderly schoolteachers trooped on next, including old Mr Tupholme from Sunningdale, who seemed bemused by the whole affair. There were professional friends and contemporaries - Michael York was at the height of his fame and said nice recorded things about me from the back of a car on his way to the airport, and Nicky Henson did the same thing from the back of his motorbike on Waterloo Bridge; Simon Williams and his wife Belinda Carroll came and so did Christopher Cazenove and his wife Angharad Rees. Christopher read aloud the fairly flattering review I’d received from the Eton Chronicle when, aged fifteen, I'd played Edgar in King Lear. My sister Kerry was flown in from Marrakech; my mother Aileen came on dressed to the nines and effectively took the opportunity to perform an over-the-top audition piece - years later, long after she'd died, I found an entry about the show in one of her diaries. She wrote, 'The Great Day! I was too articulated & loud & theatrical.' At the back of the diary, in which she summed up the year 1979 as being 'A dull, horrible, boring, boring year!' she wrote 'lan triumphing as the Saint! The best day of the year - This Is Your Life.'


The last guest was my dear old nanny, the ex-Miss Aime Domberg. She had married a delightful Polish man called Kasimir, and was now Mrs Aime Misliwiec. The name Aime Misliwiec - which is pronounced something like 'I'm A Miss-Lay-Vitz’ - was obviously going to give Eamonn Andrews a problem. Sweating profusely at the prospect of having to pronounce the unpronounceable, he introduced her as ‘Amy Mizzlewick, an old friend of the family.’ Nanny didn’t mind being called Amy Mizzlewick, but she had insisted on 'an old friend of the family’ because she thought that being described as 'the Saint’s nanny’ might embarrass me. That's the kind of nanny Nanny was.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 520
  • Subject No: 517
  • Broadcast date: Wed 18 Apr 1979
  • Broadcast time: 7-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 22 Mar 1979
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 19
  • Edition: 26
  • Code name: Bernard

on the guest list...

  • Tessa Wyatt
  • Diane Keen
  • Carolyn Seymour
  • Lynn Dalby
  • Prunella Gee
  • Muriel Odunton
  • Jenny Hanley
  • Mary Tamm
  • Sarah Douglas
  • Fiona Curzon
  • Judy Geeson
  • Diane - wife
  • Titus - son
  • Emma - daughter
  • Aileen Raymond - mother
  • Kerry Jane - sister
  • Nicholas Dawson
  • Mr Tupholme
  • Sean Hall-Smith
  • Charles Lucas
  • Bob Baker
  • Simon Williams
  • Belinda Carroll
  • Angharad Rees
  • Christopher Cazenove
  • Aime Misliwiec
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Current pupils of Sunningdale
  • Nicky Henson
  • Michael York

external links...

production team...

  • Researchers: Cathy Parnall, John Graham, Sue Jerrard
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
Series 19 subjects: Alice Goldberger > Michael Parkinson > Mary O'Hara > Barbara Kelly > Terry Scott > Jimmy Shand > Eric Newby > Patricia Neal > David Bellamy > Muhammad Ali > Vera Lynn > Naomi James > Leslie Thomas > James Galway > Elaine Paige > Lord Lovat > Kevin Keegan > Stephane Grappelli > Robert Powell > Shirley Crabtree > Peter Barkworth > Robert Law > Dinah Sheridan > JPR Williams > Joyce Pearce > Ian Ogilvy > Margaret Kelly