John VIRGO (1946-)

John Virgo This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 938
  • Subject No: 914
  • Broadcast date: Wed 3 Jan 1996
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Tue 31 Oct 1995
  • Repeated: Thu 4 Jan 1996 2.35pm
  • Venue: Teddington Studios
  • Series: 36
  • Edition: 18
  • Code name: Break

on the guest list...

  • Brook Leah - daughter
  • Gary - son
  • William - brother
  • Nicky - partner
  • Rocky Taylor
  • Jess Conrad
  • Dave Dee
  • Dorothy - sister
  • Marjorie - sister
  • Ray Reardon
  • Willie Thorne
  • Jimmy White
  • David Taylor
  • Alex Higgins
  • Chris Ellison
  • Troy Dante
  • Bless him - dog
  • Stanley Unwin
  • Dennis Taylor
  • Ted Lowe
  • Bobby Davro
  • Stan Holden
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Chas n Dave

production team...

  • Researchers: Sue Green, Clare de Vries
  • Writer: Norman Giller
  • 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...

Pot Black

cueing the stars of snooker

The Big Red Book

the programme's icon

Chas n Dave

Alex Higgins

Ray Reardon

Dennis Taylor

Jimmy White

John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life John Virgo This Is Your Life

Screenshots of John Virgo This Is Your Life

John Virgo's autobiography

John Virgo recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Say Goodnight, JV - My Autobiography...

When I got a phone call that a contestant on The Generation Game was a big fan of mine and wanted to meet me, I thought nothing of it. I drove to the studios and walked onto the set as asked. Jim Davidson, my former co-host on Big Break, was the host. He was talking to the contestant about how much she liked me when all of a sudden I burst through a sheet of paper and onto the set. She was screaming and I gave her a cuddle. The next thing I know Michael Aspel is walking on set with his famous red book. I never thought it was anything to do with me. For a start, I was always of the belief that once you had been divorced twice it would not work practically to build a show around you. How on earth could they? I thought. But, sure enough, he walked up and said, 'John Virgo, this is your life!' It was such a shock.

They drove me to the studios in Teddington and I actually felt not unlike the Bob Hoskins character at the end of the gangster film The Long Good Friday. The IRA have got him in the back of the car and they are taking him away against his will. I felt much the same. All these thoughts were going through my head about who might turn up in the show, who would be sitting next to me in the studio.

Once I got to the This Is Your Life studios they handed me a glass of champagne and I felt a bit better. Finally, the time came for us to do the show. My daughter and son came out, then my siblings and other relatives and friends came in one by one. Next up some of my snooker friends joined us. Alex Higgins was one of them. When he walked on we had a big hug but as he shook my hand he whispered into my ear, 'You're still a cunt.'

John Virgo and Alex Higgins

Nobody else could hear him say it, thank God! But that is what he said. Outrageous. But typical Alex.

I did wonder whether I was worthy of the attention, after growing up watching war heroes on the show, men who had saved people's lives. However, some time later I was talking to Michael Aspel and it turned out that my show had the highest viewing figures for the entire series. This was partly because the moment when he first walked up to me had been shown live on The Generation Game. I was still very proud of that rating, though. It was amazing, really. Once again it illustrated the reach of snooker.

Series 36 subjects

Rolf Harris | Lisa Clayton | Pam St Clement | Allan Norman | Alicia Markova | Tony Warren | Johnny Cooper | Clive Mantle
Charlie Drake | Stan Boardman | Frank Skinner | Desmond Llewelyn | Brian Conley | David Kennett | David Essex | David Croft
Bob and Dolores Hope | John Virgo | Rula Lenska | Gavin Hastings | John Peel | Ann Rachlin | Michael Buerk | Chili Bouchier
Benny Green | Sue Barker | Petula Clark