Jimmy JEWEL (1909-1995)

Jimmy Jewel This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 371
  • Subject No: 372
  • Broadcast date: Wed 30 Jan 1974
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 9 Jan 1974
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 14
  • Edition: 11

on the guest list...

  • Belle - wife
  • Piper - daughter
  • Kerry - son
  • Ben Warriss - cousin
  • Tessie O'Shea
  • Jon Pertwee
  • Betty Paul
  • Please note: this is an incomplete list

production team...

  • Researcher: unknown
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Royston Mayoh
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

The Good Life

the sitcom stars

Jon Pertwee

This Is Your Life Big Red Book
Jimmy Jewel autobiography

Jimmy Jewel recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Three Times Lucky...

After that I worked on a smashing show called 'Spring and Autumn', with a kid called Charlie Hawkins – sheer pleasure. It was after the first few programmes in the series, that Vince Powell called me up and made a lunch date. He said that someone from Thames TV at Shepperton wanted to see me. [Bigredbook.info editor: Thames TV had no connection with Shepperton Studios, so it's more likely that the meeting was to take place at the company's Euston Road Studios]

'Fine.' I said.

'We'll take my car,' he said.


'I'll take you to lunch first at the Trattoo.'


Fifteen minutes later he rang back.

'I think we'll take your car.'

'Okay. We'll take my car.' What does it matter whose car we take, I thought. Then he rang back again.

'Make it twelve thirty.'


I thought: he's going barmy.

My wife and daughter had been acting oddly too. A couple of nights before the lunch, Belle said that she was going out to a fashion show. She never went to fashion shows; in fact she never went anywhere without me. Piper went out that night as well, saying she was going to dinner with someone, and left me on my own.

Even more oddly, they came back together.

'We met in the lift,' said Belle.

'Oh yes,' I said.

Something strange was a-foot. Whenever the phone went Belle would dash over and pick it up.

'Who was it?' I'd ask.

'Oh, some Indian who got the wrong number.'

Vince turned up at twelve on the appointed day to take me to lunch. All through the meal he kept looking at his watch and slinging back the brandies. Eventually we drove out to the TV studios. When we arrived, a gateman stopped us.

'Mr Jewel,' he said. 'Mr Philip Jones has reserved a parking place for you.' He told me to reverse into the space and as I backed in, a little Volkswagen behind me blew up. The bonnet flew upwards with a bang.

'The bloody IRA are here,' I said to Vince. I got out of the car and there was Eamonn Andrews getting out of the Volkswagen with a broad grin on his face and the famous red book in his hand.

'Jimmy Jewel, actor, comedian,' he said. 'This is your life.'

'No way.' I said and backed off. I'd always maintained that if anything like that happened, I would walk away from it, principally because I didn't consider myself all that important. I thought that the show should be about people who had done something for the good of mankind. But I looked at his face and at Vince's. They were grinning at me and a thousand thoughts flashed through my mind. They might have flown my sister-in-law in from Australia. (They had.) They might have brought Ben Lyon in from California. (They hadn't.) I couldn't back out and disappoint everyone. So I went along with the whole thing; and in fact it was a marvellous night.

It was just as well though that they didn't have my car wired for sound or the audience would have had an earful. Later I found out that the producer had hired an actor to play the parking attendant. The original idea was for the guy to get into an argument with me but Kerry put the blocks on that idea.

'If you do that,' he said, 'the old man will probably give him a right-hander.'

Ben came on and nearly took the show over. Then there was Tessie O'Shea, Jon Pertwee, Betty Paul, four of the Five Smith Brothers, and the family of course. I felt very emotional about the things people were saying. It was as well I wasn't asked to speak because I wouldn't have been able to.

My only regret is that the programme was done too soon – This Is Your Life – it sounds almost like an epitaph. I wish they had waited until now. Because it was after the programme that I began to work as a serious actor.

Series 14 subjects

Jim Dale | Vic Feather | Hayley Mills | Pete Murray | George Sewell | David Nixon | Robert Dougall | Deryck Guyler
Derek Dougan | William Coles | Jimmy Jewel | John Alderton | Patrick Moore | Sam Kydd | John Dankworth
Gordon Ostlere (Richard Gordon) | Lionel Blair | Sheila Scott | Roy Dotrice | Barry Briggs | Christopher Lee
Beryl Grey | Terry Biddlecombe | Don Revie | Robert Morley | David Hemery | Eamonn Andrews