Ted RAY (1905-1977)

Ted Ray
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THIS IS YOUR LIFE - Ted Ray, comedian best known for BBC radio’s domestic comedy series Ray’s a Laugh, was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at the BBC Television Theatre.

Ted was honoured by This Is Your Life a second time in 1975.

Photographs of Ted Ray This Is Your Life

Ted Ray recalls the events which led to him being surprised for This Is Your Life in his autobiography My Turn Next...

We were at a tribute luncheon at the BBC, and I was fighting to get an aperitif when I saw Dennis Goodwin.

“I think the whole thing is a put-up job for ‘This Is Your Life!’” he said. The rumour circulated and rather upset the atmosphere.

It must become increasingly difficult to trap the victim for this highly personalised programme. In America, where the show is also performed, a magazine sent a star reporter along to find out if the show was genuine. The man arrived at the studio, and within five minutes was astounded to find that he himself was the victim!

They caught me beautifully.

Ronnie Waldman at the BBC television studios telephoned me suggesting that I should meet Cecil McGivern, a top BBC executive, and some visitors from Australia who were over here to look at our television.

“Sid Colin the writer, and Peter Cushing the actor, will also be there, and we wanted you to represent Variety,” said Ronnie.

It was a nice compliment. I duly arrived at the appointed time a fortnight later, and in the Hospitality Room was introduced to Mr McGivern, he in turn introduced me to Sid Colin, Peter Cushing, and the Australian visitors. We had a drink, then Cecil McGivern suggested that we should let the gentlemen see one of our panel games. We piled into a couple of cars and eventually arrived at the BBC Television Theatre at Shepherd’s Bush. I remember Sid Colin led the way in through the stage door. Eamonn Andrews was hanging around the doorway with a trailer mike in his hand.

“Hello, Eamonn,” I said. “How are you?”

“Fine,” replied Eamonn, “but the point is, how are you?” He led the way to the stage, the curtains opened on a packed audience who heard him deliver his familiar punchline.

“Ted Ray, This Is Your Life.”

You could have knocked me down with a swizzle stick. Or a contract.

programme details...

  • Edition No: 3
  • Subject No: 3
  • Broadcast live: Sun 23 Oct 1955
  • Broadcast time: 7.45-8.15pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 1
  • Edition: 3

on the guest list...

  • G H Elliott
  • Gordon Ashton
  • Lena Johnston
  • Jean Arthur
  • Cyril Saul
  • Jack Pettit
  • Harry Wardle
  • Sybil - wife
  • Minty Lawson
  • Robin Ray - son
  • Andrew Ray - son
  • Kitty Bluett

external links...

production team...

  • Researchers: Peter Moore, Nigel Ward
  • Writer: Gale Pedrick
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
names listed in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
with thanks to Mark Olden for his contribution to this page
Series 1 subjects: Eamonn Andrews > Yvonne Bailey > Ted Ray > James Butterworth > Charles Burgess Fry > Johanna Harris > Donald Campbell > Joe Brannelly > Stanley Matthews > Henry Starling > Ida Cook > Lupino Lane > Hugh Oloff de Wet > Elizabeth Wilde > Robert Stanford Tuck