Did You See...? The Story of This Is Your Life
The Story of This Is Your Life titles
related pages...

Eamonn Andrews

a brief biography

The Legend That Was Eamonn Andrews

a celebration to mark the presenter's centenary year

The Story of This Is Your Life

a BBC Did You See...? special

Big Red Book

the programme's icon

Street Life

from Elsie Tanner to Eddie Yates

Louis Mountbatten

Bill Waddington

Did You See...? was the BBC's long-running review programme, which took a look back at the week's television with a discussion between the presenter and three guests. A special edition of the programme - The Story of This Is Your Life - was broadcast on Tuesday 3 March 1987. The Radio Times listing states the programme 'goes behind the scenes for the first time to find out how the show is planned, and looks back with Eamonn to some of the greatest 'pick-ups' of the past 30 years.'

The following are two newspaper reviews of the Did You See...? special.

The Independent 4 March 1987

There was only one Aids programme last night (a late phone-in on BBC1) but The Story of This Is Your Life (BBC2), a Did You See...? Special giving the red book treatment to the 30-year-old ITV series, included an interesting example of the casual social jokes inspired by the virus. "It's a very warm moment. Don't touch him as if he's got Aids", Eamonn Andrews jested to the nervous relatives of Coronation Street's "Percy Sugden" (actor Bill Waddington) in a behind-the-scenes rehearsal sequence.

The Story of This Is Your Life was also noteworthy in being a BBC tribute to an ITV programme. This shows a pleasing maturity as anyone intrigued by the documentary might conceivably tune into This Is Your Life tonight rather than BBC1's Wogan. There was also a neat little parable about television's treatment of its guests: Percy Sugden's pet turkey Eric was brought through the sliding doors into a spotlight and warm applause. Cut to the after-show party, where, in the centre of a groaning table, was a large roast bird. After the 15-minute trip, the cold turkey.

Daily Mail 4 March 1987

TV Mail Herbert Kretzmer's review

BBC 2's The Story of This Is Your Life took viewers behind the scenes of the long-running Eamonn Andrews series. I particularly enjoyed the cool response of Lord Mountbatten when Eamonn pounced on him with his famous red book. 'Earl Mountbatten of Burma, this is your life!' barked the durable Eamonn.

'What do you mean?' murmured His Lordship, who appeared never to have heard of the show.

'More people see This Is Your Life standing up than sitting down,' we were told by the producer. 'They walk into a room and wait to see who it is...'

I have seldom watched This Is Your Life, standing up or sitting down. The show seems to have declined into a mawkish celebration of relatively obscure showbiz types. But no doubt it can run for ever.