Derek JAMESON (1929-2012)

Derek Jameson This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 696
  • Subject No: 691
  • Broadcast date: Wed 19 Feb 1986
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Tue 11 Feb 1986
  • Venue: Royalty Theatre
  • Series: 26
  • Edition: 18
  • Code name: Street

on the guest list...

  • Sir Larry Lamb
  • Philippa Kennedy
  • Charles Wintour
  • Marjorie Proops
  • Ken Bennett
  • Jill Dykes
  • Alix Palmer
  • Craig MacKenzie
  • Kit Miller
  • Samantha Fox
  • Mike Read
  • Ray Moore
  • Ken Bruce
  • David Hamilton
  • Gloria Hunniford
  • Jimmy Young
  • Nick Owen
  • Anne Diamond
  • Ellen Petrie - partner
  • Peter - son
  • Joanna - Peter's partner
  • Barbara - daughter
  • John - son-in-law
  • Paula - granddaughter
  • Ben - son
  • Dan - son
  • Elsie - mother
  • Bill - stepfather
  • Marilyn - half-sister
  • Sarah - half-niece
  • Charlie Sinclair
  • Jean - sister
  • Gerry - brother-in-law
  • Jack Elliott
  • Chris Elliott
  • Maurice Elliott
  • Lenny Frost
  • Ronnie Bedford
  • Robert Maxwell
  • Stan Shadbot
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Nell Elliott
  • Bob Guccione
  • David Frost

production team...

  • Researchers: Miriam O'Callaghan, Tom Wettengel
  • Writer: Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Terry Yarwood, Michael D Kent
  • Associate Producer: Brian Klein
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Stop Press

headlining Fleet Street's finest

The Night of 1000 Lives

a celebration of a thousand editions

New Lease of Life

the programme's relaunch

Eamonn's surprising disguises

TV Times feature on some bizarre outfits

David Frost

Marjorie Proops

Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life Derek Jameson This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Derek Jameson This Is Your Life

Roy Bottomley This Is Your Life book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...

On 11 February 1986, Derek Jameson, the former Fleet Street editor, was about to embark on presenting Radio Two's morning show. His regular spot on TV-AM, with Anne Diamond and Nick Owen, had established a firm following, though Gloria Hunniford offered the view that it was only because the gravel-voiced Cockney had been having elocution lessons from Henry Cooper.

Born in London's East End, son of an unmarried mother who scraped a living working in a laundry, Derek had started work as a fourteen-year-old messenger boy at Reuter's. He had gone on to hold the editorship of no fewer than four national newspapers, so where better to surprise him than in Fleet Street.

As he walked down the famous street in the gloom of that winter evening he spotted a newspaper billboard for the Evening Standard. 'Big Surprise For Fleet Street's Derek Jameson!' it declaimed. The surprise was that Eamonn was the newsvendor.

Also surprised was a genuine passer-by who offered a pound coin and found a newspaper thrust at her with the words, 'Forget the money!' Derek had that very moment strolled into view.

At our television theatre, just around the corner in Kingsway, waited some of Fleet Street's finest: Sir Larry Lamb, Philippa Kennedy, Charles Wintour, Marjorie Proops and the former Page Three Girl Samantha Fox.

From his new career in radio were Mike Read, Ray Moore, Ken Bruce, David Hamilton, Jimmy Young and Gloria Hunniford.

From New York there was a rare sighting, and greeting, from the boss of the multi-million Penthouse empire Bob Guccione, Derek's cartoonist in 1960 when Derek edited the London American, and whose offer of a partnership he had turned down. A bare cheek.

Malcolm Morris biography

Producer Malcolm Morris recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is My Life...

We had one more Life to film in London before setting off for Los Angeles and it was to be a lad himself, Derek Jameson. We decided on a tricky but effective way to surprise him by getting one of his friends to meet him for a late lunch on the day and then take a taxi back to the office through Fleet Street. The taxi was in our pay and was briefed to break down at a certain point of the street. In the meantime Eamonn was dressed as a news vendor on the corner, selling the late edition of the Evening Standard. By his side was the headline board which shouted in large black print: 'BIG SURPRISE FOR DEREK JAMESON'. Eamonn was also holding a phoney edition of the Evening Standard which said, 'Derek Jameson, This Is Your Life'. Eamonn, of course, was hidden in a high collared raincoat topped with heavy cap and glasses.

All was going well. Eamonn was in place and I was holding the book out of sight behind him. Yes! There was the taxi and it had stopped; an irate Jameson got out and was heading our way just as a very sweet lady came over and asked Eamonn for an Evening Standard, not an unreasonable request, really. Eamonn didn't have a real paper but I did. I offered it to her and she accepted it, giving me a pound. I didn't have any change so I said it would be all right if she just took the paper with my complements. Derek was almost at our corner.

'No,' she said, and insisted on paying, but then she asked for change.

'Not to worry, madam, please have this copy with our compliments,' I said.

'No, I couldn't take it without paying for it,' she said firmly.

There were only seconds to go now and I had to do the drastic thing. I pushed a paper into her hands and said, 'There you are, madam, now shove off!'

She marched away furious but left Eamonn free to throw the surprise at Derek.

If that lady should by any chance read this, please accept my sincere apologies for being so rude.

Series 26 subjects

William Roache | Dennis Taylor | Elisabeth Welch | Sheila Mercier | Richard Branson | Maurice Denham | David Ellaway
Terry O'Neill | Gerry Marsden | Joyce Carey | Chas n Dave | Oliver Reed | Felix Bowness | John Harris | Bonnie Langford
Henry Cotton | June McElnea | Derek Jameson | Richard Vernon | Martyn Lewis | Peter Shilton | Ted Rogers
Simon Williams | Larry Slater | Lena Kennedy | Denis Quilley