Kenneth HORNE (1907-1969)

Kenneth Horne
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Kenneth Horne, comedian and businessman, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in Kensington, London.

The son of a clergyman, Kenneth combined a successful business career with regular broadcasting for BBC radio. His first hit series, Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, written with his co-star Richard Murdoch, arose out of his wartime service as an officer in the Royal Air Force.

A debilitating stroke in 1958 forced him to choose between commerce and show business, and following a full recovery, he chose the latter - and went on to make the popular radio series, Beyond Our Ken.

Kenneth's stepdaughter, Sue Montague recalls her experience of This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in April 2013

Photographs of Kenneth Horne This Is Your Life

Kenneth Horne's biography

Writer Barry Johnston briefly mentions This Is Your Life in his biography Round Mr Horne...

The following day Kenneth was caught by Eamonn Andrews with his famous red book when he was the subject of This is Your Life. Among the guests on the BBC TV show were Richard Murdoch and Sam Costa, Kenneth Williams, Bunny Austin, ‘Bo’ Aylward, Sir Miles Thomas of BOAC, the bandleader Ted Heath with his sax section, and Susan, who had to walk on carrying Happy the Budgerigar in his cage.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 184
  • Subject No: 185
  • Broadcast live: Mon 19 Feb 1962
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 7
  • Edition: 21

on the guest list...

  • Doreen Wherrett
  • Ann Graham
  • H W 'Bunny' Austin
  • Reginald Anscombe
  • Norman Bo Aylward
  • Richard Murdoch
  • Kenneth Horne (playwright)
  • Sir Miles Thomas
  • Carole Carr
  • Marjorie – wife
  • Yvonne Buckingham
  • Susan Montague – step-daughter
  • Happy Horne – budgie
  • Ted Heath (with 5 saxophonists)
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Kenneth Williams
  • Sam Costa

external links...

production team...

  • Researchers: Arthur Sellwood, Suzanne Twiston Davies
  • Writer: John Sandilands
  • Director: David Croft
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
With very special thanks to Sue Montague for her contribution to this page
Series 7 subjects: Max Bygraves > Mario Borrelli > Alastair Pearson > Brian Rix > Derek Dooley > Elizabeth Twistington Higgins > Sandy MacPherson > Ronald Menday > Harry Day > Peter Finch > Charlie Drake > Timothy Cain > Isabella Woodford > David Park > Sefton Delmer > Coco the Clown > Jenny Gleed > Arthur E Davies > Tom Evans > David Pelham James > Kenneth Horne > Marie Rambert > David Butler > Glen Moody > Kenneth Cooke > Tom Breaks > Dora Bryan > Bob Oatway > Acker Bilk > Hester Meakin > Joe Filliston > Ellaline Terriss