Katie BOYLE (1926-2018)

Katie Boyle This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 603
  • Subject No: 599
  • Broadcast date: Wed 10 Nov 1982
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Tue 5 Oct 1982
  • Venue: Royalty Theatre
  • Series: 23
  • Edition: 4
  • Code name: Europe

on the guest list...

  • Peter Bolton
  • Charmian Evans
  • Peter Saunders - husband
  • Linda Christian
  • Patrick Cargill
  • Barbara Cartland
  • Richard Murdoch
  • Richard Afton
  • Ruby Murray
  • Cyril Fletcher
  • Raymond Bessone
  • Evelyn Laye
  • Charles Hickman
  • Spike Milligan
  • Margherita - half-sister
  • Mother Sanga
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Beverley Nichols

production team...

  • Researcher: Tom Wettengel
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Paul Stewart Laing, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Presenting Life

celebrating the hosts

Family Life

keeping it in the family

The Night of 1000 Lives

a celebration of a thousand editions

Katie Boyle's Roman circus

TV Times feature on Katie Boyle

Eamonn's surprising disguises

TV Times feature on some bizarre outfits

Barbara Cartland

Evelyn Laye

Spike Milligan

Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life Katie Boyle This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Katie Boyle This Is Your Life

Malcolm Morris biography

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

One of the first programmes I ever directed was an advertising feature presented by Katie Boyle in 1959. I had met Katie for the first time in 1954 when I had photographed her for Life magazine. She was modelling some clothes for a charity. She was standing in the wings wearing a magnificent ball gown, but she was tired so kicked off her shoes. It made a fabulous picture and it was published with the clever caption underneath which simply said, 'The barefoot Contessa'.

The country and I fell in love with her then, so I was particularly happy to have the chance of surprising Katie on This Is Your Life, but when my team sat down to plan it, we found she was spending the next few months in Italy. OK, we decided, let's do the surprise in Rome and fly her back to London for the show. We then found out that she was going to a special reception in Rome during the following week. The difference was that for publicity purposes she was going to get there in an open top carriage.

Perfect! I decided, much to Eamonn's unease, that he would be an Italian traffic policeman, complete with moustache. Katie's route would take her past the Coliseum, and that would be the dramatic moment when Eamonn as the policeman would order her carriage to stop.

That was the plan. Eamonn was duly placed in the centre of the road, a very brave thing to do bearing in mind Italian drivers. Our cameras were hidden from view and her carriage appeared right on time. As it approached I gave a signal to Eamonn to get ready, but just then a whole troop of Japanese students surrounded this policeman and demanded to know the best way into the Coliseum.

Eamonn waved them away only to be joined by some Italian tourists who asked him for some other directions – in Italian, of course. Eamonn was becoming desperate and started to run away from the people who followed him. When Katie saw the chaos with a policeman being pursued by a crowd she told the driver to ignore this crazy policeman's orders.

'Stop!' cried Eamonn.

'Drive on!' shouted Katie.

Eamonn then went up to the carriage holding his hand up to Katie, who let out a torrent of colourful Italian.

The coach driver, now thoroughly confused, drove into the kerb side.

Eamonn whipped off his police cap and moustache and, surrounded by some very confused tourists, brought the Red Book from beneath his tunic to say the words: 'Katie Boyle, This Is Your Life.'

Gus Smith biography of Eamonn Andrews

Gus Smith recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, Eamonn Andrews His Life...

Nor was it unusual for him to travel abroad to surprise his subjects. Katie Boyle proved to be one of the most dramatic targets.

Eamonn flew to Rome for the pick-up. He dressed as an Italian policeman, directing traffic round the Coliseum. Presently Katie appeared driving towards him in a pony and trap. She believed she was being filmed.

As the carriage appeared in front of him, he put up his hand to stop it. What he hadn't bargained for was the fact that Katie is an Italian contessa and fluent in the language.

'She let fly in colourful Italian at the driver,' he said later, 'telling him to ignore me and drive on. I had to leap up and grab the reins shouting "This Is Your Life"!'

Series 23 subjects

Ranulph Fiennes | Diana Dors | Joan Collins | Katie Boyle | Diane Keen | Brian Johnston | Leslie Mitchell | Lewis Collins
Marty Wilde | Catherine Cookson | Allan Wells | Stan Stennett | Gloria Hunniford | Robert Carrier | Johnny Briggs 
John P Spencer | Eva Turner | Kenny Dalglish | Gerald Durrell | Jo Grimond | Anna Neagle | Kitty Wilson
Charlie Magri | Sandy Gall | Arthur Marshall | Jimmy Tarbuck