A Dancer's Life
This Is Your Life A Dancer's Life feature
Louie Ramsay This Is Your Life Louie RAMSAY

27 January 1958

Eamonn interrupted a performance of the pantomime Babes in the Wood at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, to surprise the actress and dancer who had recently been paralysed by an unknown virus, but from which she had made a full recovery. Louie's guests include Jimmy Logan, Hattie Jacques and a recorded message from Wilfred Pickles.

     
     
Alicia Markova This Is Your Life Alicia Markova This Is Your Life Alicia MARKOVA

11 January 1960

In the first of her two tributes, Alicia was surprised by Eamonn at London's Royal Festival Hall during a prize-giving ceremony, where the This Is Your Life book was handed to the ballerina 'disguised' as a present.
Her guests include Marie Rambert, Margot Fonteyn and a recorded message from Jessie Matthews.

     
     
Madame Vacani This Is Your Life Madame VACANI

23 January 1961

Marguerite Vacani - founder of the Vacani School of Dance - teacher of dance and social etiquette to young ladies and gentlemen - was surprised by Eamonn as she arrived at the BBC Television Theatre. Madame Vacani raised thousands of pounds for worthy causes and, at one time held weekly classes at Buckingham Palace for the young Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.

     
     
  Elizabeth Twistington Higgins This Is Your Life Elizabeth TWISTINGTON HIGGINS

6 November 1961

Elizabeth was surprised by Eamonn at London's Middlesex Hospital. At the height of her career as a classical ballet dancer she was struck down by polio.
Despite being almost totally paralysed from the neck down, she established her own dance troupe and became a successful painter by mouth.

     
     
Marie Rambert This Is Your Life Marie Rambert This Is Your Life Marie RAMBERT

26 February 1962

The influential dancer, teacher and founder of Ballet Rambert was surprised by Eamonn at the Mercury Theatre, after arriving before the production team were ready for her!
Guests include the famous Russian ballerina Tamara Karsavina, noted as Principal Artist with the Imperial Ballet and Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

     
     
Ninette de Valois This Is Your Life Ninette de Valois This Is Your Life Ninette de VALOIS

9 April 1964

The founder of The Royal Ballet was surprised by Eamonn in the home of her longtime collaborator Sir Frederick Ashton.
The tribute is recorded at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and includes performances from former students of The Royal Ballet, as well as guests Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev.

     
     
Beryl Grey This Is Your Life Beryl Grey This Is Your Life Beryl GREY

10 April 1974

The ballet dancer - who became the artistic director of the London Festival Ballet - was surprised by Eamonn at the company's Donmar rehearsal studio in London's Covent Garden.
Beryl - who was the first British ballerina to dance with the Bolshoi Ballet in Russia - was greeted by Dame Alicia Markova and Dame Ninette de Valois.

     
     
  This Is Your Life Big Red Book Lionel BLAIR

6 March 1974

Eamonn surprised Lionel while watching an audition at Thames Television's Euston Road Studios.
The dancer, choreographer, and actor - who regularly appeared on television variety shows from the 1960s - was greeted by, among others, actress Joan Collins.

     
     
Anton Dolin This Is Your Life Anton Dolin This Is Your Life Anton DOLIN

12 April 1978

The ballet dancer and choreographer, known for his work with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, was surprised by Eamonn while taking a class at the Royal Academy of Dance in London.
Guests include founder of the Royal Ballet, Dame Ninette de Valois, and the dancer he formed a ballet company with, Alicia Markova.

     
     
Margaret Kelly This Is Your Life Margaret Kelly This Is Your Life Margaret KELLY

3 May 1979

Broadcast as a 'special' on Election Night, this edition featured the Irish dancer who became known as Miss Bluebell after establishing the Bluebell Girls dance troupe.
Eamonn surprised Margaret at the Paris Lido and the tribute was recorded in a Paris television studio on a set adorned with feather-clad dancers.

     
     
Wayne Sleep This Is Your Life Wayne Sleep This Is Your Life Wayne SLEEP

28 October 1981

Eamonn surprised Wayne durring the curtain call of the recently opened musical Cats at the New London Theatre - a venue previously used by This Is Your Life. Guests include three former 'dance' subjects - Dame Alicia Markova, Anton Dolin and Dame Ninette de Valois, and flown in from Panama as Wayne's final guest - the ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn.

     
     
Gillian Lynne This Is Your Life Gillian Lynne This Is Your Life Gillian LYNNE

15 February 1989

Michael became the Phantom of the Opera in order to surprise the celebrated West End choreographer on the stage of Her Majesty's Theatre, London – current home to the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical which Gillian had choreographed. Gillian's lively show includes high kicks, top hats and canes, and tributes from Dame Beryl Grey and Moira Shearer.

     
     
Wendy Toye This Is Your Life Wendy Toye This Is Your Life Wendy TOYE

29 January 1992

The dancer, stage and film director and actress was surprised by Michael onstage at the Wimbledon Theatre following a performance of her production of The Sound Of Music.
Wendy is greeted by, among others, singer Cleo Laine and former ballet dancer Dame Alicia Markova.

     
     
Peggy Spencer This Is Your Life Peggy Spencer This Is Your Life Peggy SPENCER

17 March 1993

The ballroom dancer and choreographer - long associated with television's Come Dancing - was surprised by Michael at Croydon's Fairfield Halls.
Guests include former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes and Eric Morley - who introduced ballroom dancing onto BBC Television.

     
     
Alicia Markova This Is Your Life Alicia Markova This Is Your Life Alicia MARKOVA

4 October 1995

For her second This Is Your Life tribute, Alicia - now Dame Alicia - was surprised by Michael in the crush bar of London's Royal Opera House.A diverse range of guests include comedian Jimmy Tarbuck, dancers Wayne Sleep, Dame Beryl Grey and Freddie Franklin, and a personally written message - read by Michael - from Princess Diana.

     
     
Babs Powell This Is Your Life Babs Powell This Is Your Life Babs POWELL

15 November 2001

The former dancer with Pans People, and wife of actor Robert Powell, was surprised by Michael during a fundraising lunch held in her honour at St Katharine's Dock in London.
Babs, who recently took part in the BT Global Yacht Challenge - a round the world yacht race - is greeted by, among others, sailors Tracy Edwards and Chay Blyth.

     

* the pre-1970 subjects were surprised by a different coloured book - see the Big Red Book feature for full details