David Pelham JAMES DSC, MBE, MP (1919-1986)

This Is Your Life Big Red Book

programme details...

  • Edition No: 183
  • Subject No: 184
  • Broadcast live: Mon 12 Feb 1962
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8.00pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 7
  • Edition: 20

on the guest list...

  • Archie MacColl
  • Captain Thomas Kerr OBE
  • John Barker
  • John Wells
  • Mr Shadrich
  • Mr White
  • Colonel Philip Edwards
  • Jim Dinnage
  • Captain Uno Mørn
  • Jacquetta – wife
  • Peter – son
  • Patsy – daughter
  • Diana – daughter
  • Michael – son
  • Christopher – son
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Sir Archibald James – father

production team...

related page...

Life on the Hustings

a cross-party celebration

This Is Your Life Big Red Book

David Pelham James biography

John Robson recalls This Is Your Life in his biography of David Pelham James, One Man In His Time...

David’s career was progressing well; so much so that he was noticed by the BBC and selected to be a victim of This Is Your Life.

One February morning, arriving at Victoria Station on the 8.54 from Haywards Heath, he was accosted at the barrier by Eamonn Andrews and reacted with a deleted expletive.

On the show that evening Eamonn introduced him as a ‘walking adventure story’ and confronted him with a gathering of characters from his earlier life.

Outside his family, they included, Archie McColl, the retired Torosay stalker; Captain Uno Mørn of the Viking; John Barker, an able seaman who was one of the crew of the MGB when it was sunk; John Wells, a civilian master tailor who became Lord Mayor of Westminster, who sewed on his Bulgarian Navy shoulder flashes in prison camp; and Paul Shadrich the German policeman who recaptured him at Lübeck.

The programme was signed off by Eamonn Andrews in the language of the time:

David James, this book salutes a vivid figure of the present era whose zestful spirit recalls the gay adventures of the past and sets a bright example to those whose future lies in the New Elizabethan Age.

Series 7 subjects

Max Bygraves | Mario Borrelli | Alastair Pearson | Brian Rix | Derek Dooley | Elizabeth Twistington Higgins | Sandy MacPherson
Ronald Menday | Harry Day | Peter Finch | Charlie Drake | Timothy Cain | Isabella Woodford | David Park | Sefton Delmer
Coco the Clown | Jenny Gleed | Arthur E Davies | Tom Evans | David Pelham James | Kenneth Horne | Marie Rambert | David Butler
Glen Moody | Kenneth Cooke | Tom Breaks | Dora Bryan | Bob Oatway | Acker Bilk | Hester Meakin | Joe Filliston | Ellaline Terriss