Andrew SACHS (1930-2016)

Andrew Sachs This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 527
  • Subject No: 524
  • Broadcast date: Wed 2 Jan 1980
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 19 Dec 1979
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 20
  • Edition: 6
  • Code name: Avenue

on the guest list...

  • Leslie Phillips
  • June Whitfield
  • Sylvia Syms
  • Derek Bond
  • Amanda Holmes
  • Monica Grey
  • Helen Gill
  • Nicholas Field
  • Melody Lang - wife
  • John - stepson
  • Bill - stepson
  • Katie - daughter
  • Barbara - aunt
  • Evelyn Field
  • David Lees
  • Ray Cooney
  • Brian Rix
  • Jessie Matthews
  • Mollie Sugden
  • Patricia Routledge
  • Tom - brother
  • Filmed tributes:
  • John Cleese
  • Barbara - sister
  • Keith Michell

production team...

  • Researchers: Robin Ellis-Bextor, Vivien Lind, Tom Wettengel
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Terry Yarwood, Anthony Parker
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...
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Screenshots of Andrew Sachs This Is Your Life

Andrew Sachs autobiography

Andrew Sachs recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, I Know Nothing!...

This Is Your Life was also a popular show in the 1970s. Eamonn Andrews, who presented it, was one of the biggest stars on TV. The format was simple. The show covered someone's life in thirty minutes with contributions from family, friends and colleagues. It was entertaining, potted biography. The gimmick was that the subject of each show was surprised, as he or she had no idea they were about to be the hero of an episode. Thames TV's team, who made it, were adept at persuading the family and friends of their subjects to keep quiet and skilful at ambushing their 'victims'.

I certainly didn't guess I was in Eamonn Andrews's firing line when I was doing a photo shoot in central London. The organisers just told me we were to go to the record shop HMV in Oxford Street to sign some photos.

I was, of course, dressed as Manuel. I went up the stairs to the top floor and found a crowd of people waiting for me with photos to sign. I started signing and then looked to my right and saw a man I didn't realise was Eamonn Andrews. Then, he announced himself and uttered his trademark, 'Andrew Sachs, this is your life.'

Andrew Sachs This Is Your Life

I was flummoxed and just said, 'What?' Laughing, I soon realised I was to be the subject of the big red book.

I was whisked off to the studios where I found Melody with a suit ready for me, so I changed, went into make-up and we got on with it. Eamonn Andrews was sweating so much throughout the recording he was dripping onto the book of my life. It was rather worrying, and I had to calm him down, just as Manuel had tried to calm Mr Fawlty sometimes. The show was, like all such shows, highly staged. Melody, Bill, John and Kate all took part, as did Leslie Phillips, who called me an 'enchanting fellow' and gave me a quick kiss; June Whitfield; and the diva Jessie Matthews herself, who appeared in a billowing blue gown. John Cleese recorded a hilarious tribute. My sister Barbara was in Kenya but recorded a message. My auntie Barbara was flown in from Munich and spoke remarkably good English. My brother Tom flew in from Toronto. I enjoyed it, even though sometimes it made it seem as if my whole career had been a prelude to playing Manuel.

Series 20 subjects

Pat Seed | Fred Trueman | Noel Barber | Charles Aznavour | Eric Sykes | Andrew Sachs | Gerald Harper | Terry Griffiths
Paddie O'Neil | George Martin | Geoff Capes | Roy Kinnear | Nyree Dawn Porter | Emlyn Hughes | Stewart Granger
Clare Francis | Jilly Cooper | Robin Cousins | Brian Bevan | Bill Beaumont | Mike Tetley
Alan Minter | Nat Jackley | Cathleen Nesbitt | Michael Aspel | Clive Lloyd