James CHIPPERFIELD (1912-1990)

James Chipperfield
related page...

The Big Top

Roll up - the circus is in town


Family Life

Keeping it in the family


THIS IS YOUR LIFE - James Chipperfield, circus owner and animal trainer, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in the audience at the BBC Television Theatre.


Born into his family’s travelling circus, Jimmy began his working life as, amongst other things, a clown, a wire-walker and an acrobat. Following the Second World War, in which he served as a fighter pilot in the RAF, he and his brother Dick developed the business into the biggest circus ever seen in Europe, boasting a 6000 capacity tent.


Jimmy also involved himself with farming, training animals for films and organising showjumping trials, and would go on to introduce Britain’s first drive-through safari park.

Photographs of James Chipperfield This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 155
  • Subject No: 156
  • Broadcast date: Mon 13 Mar 1961
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8.00pm
  • Recorded: Mon 27 Feb 1961 7.30-8pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 6
  • Edition: 26

on the guest list...

  • Dick Chipperfield - brother
  • Bruni the bear
  • Matron Scott
  • Rosie Chipperfield - wife
  • Billy Baker
  • Mr & Mrs John Wilson
  • John Hunt
  • Group Captain Slade OBE
  • Colonel Tarald Weisten DFC
  • Wing Commander Gonsalves DSO DFC
  • Mary Chipperfield - daughter
  • Ted Williams
  • Mrs Winner
  • Mr Stubbs the chimpanzee
  • Jacqueline Jones
  • Richard Hearne
  • Henry Manning
  • Louis Singho

external link...

production team...

  • Researcher: Nickola Sterne
  • Writer: Nickola Sterne
  • Director: Michael Goodwin
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
with special thanks to Emma McCormick for his contribution to this page
Series 6 subjects: Leonard Cheshire > George Bennett > David Sheppard > Sybil Thorndike > Clarence Wolfe > Charles Coward > T E B Clarke > Helene Jeanty-Raven > Cyril Smith > Victor de Spiganovicz > Bill Hartley > Ellen Martha Field > Anthony Deane-Drummond > John Mills > Richard Bancroft > Freddie Mills > William Simpson > Alan Herbert > Madame Vacani > Elizabeth Ambridge > Robert Fawcus > Flora Robson > Edward Chad Varah > James Zarb > Maryan Rawicz and Walter Landauer > James Chipperfield > Anthony Kimmins > Thomas Cosmo Jones > Jessie Matthews > Helen Wilson > Charlie Chester > Brunel Cohen > Godfrey Winn > Billy Wright