This is Your Life
Radio Times
4 May 1961
Radio Times: This Is Your Life article Radio Times: This Is Your Life article
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Producing Life

the producers who steered the programme's success

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the studio look and locations

Eamonn Looks Back

first-hand recollections

Danny Blanchflower

Press coverage of the footballer's refusal to participate

It's the show that balances on a tightrope

TV Times interviews footballer Danny Blanchflower

'For millions of people,' writes KEN SMITH, 'Monday night will not be quite the same without...'

This Is Your Life

At half-past-seven tonight Eamonn Andrews will walk on the stage of the Television Theatre in London, and the 163rd programme of This Is Your Life will begin.

Tonight's edition is the last in the present series which started back in 1955, with Eamonn himself as the first subject.

Television critics have probably written more about This Is Your Life – in praise as well as condemnation – than about any other programme since television began.

One of them called it 'an unofficial intrusion of privacy.'

But the fact remains that every Monday over 12,000,000 viewers have settled down into their armchairs to watch one of the BBC's most popular television programmes.

What is the aim of the programme? In the words of producer T Leslie Jackson: 'To produce each week for the entertainment of viewers, a personality with an interesting story to tell, and to recall incidents from his or her life – through the variety of people who have figured prominently in it.'

In fulfilling this aim, people have been taken from many walks of life. They have come from the world of entertainment. They have been heroes and heroines from two world wars. There have been ordinary folk who never imagined that the spotlight would fall on them.

T Leslie Jackson, who has the nerve-straining job of producing This Is Your Life, has been responsible for every one of the 163 programmes, with the constant nightmare that the guest will at the last minute decline to take part. It has only happened once, in the present series, when footballer Danny Blanchflower walked out.

And what now? Eamonn Andrews will pay his usual yearly visit to America for television appearances there. T Leslie Jackson and his staff will be busy bringing their research files up to date, and sifting through suggestions for future stories.

But for millions of people throughout the country Monday night without This Is Your Life will not be quite the same.