Bill COTTON CBE (1928-2008)

Bill Cotton This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 913
  • Subject No: 893
  • Broadcast date: Wed 22 Mar 1995
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Tue 14 Mar 1995
  • Venue: BBC Television Centre
  • Series: 35
  • Edition: 21
  • Code name: Thread

on the guest list...

  • Kate - wife
  • Jane - daughter
  • Kate - daughter
  • Lisa - daughter
  • Tom - grandson
  • Leo - grandson
  • Billy Marsh
  • Ernie Wise
  • Mike Yarwood
  • Angela Rippon
  • Gerry Kunz
  • Brian Tesler
  • Russ Conway
  • David Jacobs
  • Pete Murray
  • Sister Damian
  • Sister Catherine
  • Jimmy Tarbuck
  • Sandie Shaw
  • Terry Wogan
  • Esther Rantzen
  • Sue Lawley
  • Paul Fox
  • Vera Lynn
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Rory - grandson
  • Harry - grandson
  • Michael Grade
  • Cilla Black
  • Bruce Forsyth

production team...

  • Researcher: Sue Green
  • Writer: Roy Bottomley
  • Director: Brian Klein
  • Associate Producer: John Graham
  • Executive Producer: Peter Estall
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...
Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life Bill Cotton This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Bill Cotton This Is Your Life

Bill Cotton's autobiography

Bill Cotton recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Double Bill...

One day in 1995 I drove up to Castle Ashby in the Midlands with John Harris, the chairman of Alba, and his wife, Jacqui.

The growth of Alba has been the most spectacular success story I've been associated with since I left the BBC. I was appointed a non-executive director of a medium-size 'value-for-money' company selling radios and televisions, and it is now a major player in the industry.

As far as I knew that day our journey up the M1 was to attend a sales presentation by Bush, one of Alba's subsidiaries.

We arrived in the castle courtyard and as I stepped out of the car, a band suddenly struck up Somebody Stole My Gal, my father's old signature tune. I thought 'That's a strange tune to open a sales presentation', and found myself confronted by Michael Aspel and his big red book. I'd been well and truly had.

Bill Cotton This Is Your Life

I sat in the This Is Your Life studio humbled and amazed as a stream of show business stars paraded in to say nice things about my influence on their careers, among them Terry Wogan, Russ Conway, Bruce Forsyth, Esther Rantzen, Sue Lawley, Vera Lynn, Ernie Wise, Jimmy Tarbuck, Sandie Shaw, Cilla Black, Mike Yarwood, David Jacobs, Pete Murray and the Two Ronnies [ editor: The Two Ronnies do not appear in the broadcast version]. And the special studio guests included television executives such as Paul Fox, Brian Tesler, Michael Grade and the great theatrical agent Billy Marsh. My only regret was that among this parade of famous and distinguished guests the producers did not give Kate, the most important person in my life, the opportunity of saying a few words.

I was particularly moved by the presence of Billy Marsh in the studio, frail and in a wheelchair. It must have been one of his last public appearances.

Bill Cotton This Is Your Life

Series 35 subjects

Andrew Lloyd Webber | Leslie Crowther | Mike Reid | Martin Bell | Marti Caine | David Wallace | Danny Baker | Stephanie Cole
Peter Ustinov | Lesley Joseph | Arthur C Clarke | Barry Cryer | Gretchen Franklin | Edward Woodward | Ned Sherrin | Spike Milligan
Howard Keel | Raymond Gainer | June Whitfield | Debbie Reynolds | Bill Cotton | Jimmy Hill | George Baker | James Herbert
Michael Denison and Dulcie Gray | Ivor Broom | Kriss Akabusi | Helen Shapiro