Leslie CROWTHER (1933-1996)

Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 354
  • Subject No: 355
  • Broadcast date: Wed 28 Mar 1973
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 21 Mar 1973
  • Repeated: Wed 5 Jun 1974 7.00pm
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 13
  • Edition: 20

on the guest list...

  • Jean - wife
  • Liz - daughter
  • Lindsay - daughter
  • Caroline - daughter
  • Charlotte - daughter
  • Nicholas - son
  • Peter Glaze
  • William Ritchie
  • Ronnie Barker
  • June Whitfield
  • Sylvia Syms
  • Valerie Singleton
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Dickie Henderson

production team...

  • Researcher: unknown
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Margery Baker
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
  • with thanks to Liz Crowther for her contribution to this page
related pages...

Leslie Crowther

second tribute

Life Second Time Around

surprised again!

It's a Funny Old Life

it's all about the comedy

New Lease of Life

the programme's relaunch

Andrews's death casts doubt on his show

The Guardian reports the death of Eamonn Andrews

How they asked Aspel

TV Times interviews new presenter Michael Aspel

A programme with a life of its own

The Independent profiles the programme's history

Dickie Henderson

Valerie Singleton

June Whitfield

Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life

Photographs of Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life

Leslie Crowther autobiography

Leslie Crowther recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, The Bonus of Laughter...

Since I was playing the part of an antiques dealer (in TV's My Good Woman) I wasn't surprised to receive a letter from the organisers of the first International Antiques Fair at Earls Court in January 1973, asking if I would make a celebrity appearance.

I was looking forward to it, antique collecting being a hobby of mine, and had arranged to meet Jean there at 4pm.

I was keyed up, but not as keyed up as the secretary who met me – a sophisticated, middle-aged lady who seemed excessively nervous. Jean was late (held up in traffic), and the lady indulged in several gins and frolics. I tried to calm her down, saying that I didn't mind waiting, but this seemed to get her more and more agitated.

I should have guessed that something was afoot after Jean had arrived and we set off. I should have known it when I turned down one of the corridors on the mini-tour of inspection and could see at the end of that particular corridor TV lights and cameras. I delicately enquired why they were there. 'Ah,' replied the secretary, 'it's just closed circuit – we're doing it for our own records.'

She paused in front of a sedan chair. 'Look inside,' she said. I hesitated, deep in contemplation as to why the lady should want me to do this. She then delivered a shrewd come-on: 'There's a very rare pot-lid inside.' I'd been collecting Victorian pot-lids for fifteen years, and as they represented two-thirds of my antiques collection I needed no further invitation.

I duly opened the sedan chair door, only to discover Eamonn Andrews, my old mate from Crackerjack, clutching the dreaded Red Book and uttering the doom-laden words: 'Leslie Crowther – this is your life!' There is a photograph inside the Red Book which Thames TV presented to me later, showing me with my jaw halfway to the floor. I can remember thinking: 'Why are the Thames production team spending all this time and effort on me?'

After they'd caught me I was whisked off to the Euston Road studios of Thames and locked in a hospitality room – presumably in case I had thoughts of escaping. I remember sitting there and mulling over those people in my life whom I might conceivably fail to recognise when I heard a brief snippet of their voices before they put in the physical appearance.

But I needn't have worried: not so far as the first five guests were concerned anyway – they were my children! One contribution which was both unusual and memorable was Dickie Henderson's. From an ice-rink in Canada where he was appearing he introduced a children's choir from Ipplepen in South Devon singing 'All Things Bright and Beautiful'. This really floored me – I'd last heard them sing it the previous year when I'd introduced them at the Stars Ball for the charity SOS. They'd sung a selection of Christmas carols to Dickie, who'd taken over from me as chairman. It had floored Dickie then and he'd shed a tear: I don't think I'd ever seen Old Laconic so deeply moved. Difficult to reconcile that picture with the man who on one occasion, when stopped in an Eastbourne street, had listened patiently to a lady while she berated him unmercifully on the poor quality and lack of variety in his act. When she finally paused for breath, Dickie had delicately enquired if she had any more goodies in her diplomatic bag.

What an evening! We had a marvellous party afterwards, all together, including my old Scottish friend William Ritchie, who'd never been further than Glasgow before – and Charlotte who was in a panic because she hadn't done her homework! But I still wondered why I'd been chosen.

TV Times article: Leslie Crowther This Is Your Life

TV Times 1 February 1986

Eamonn Andrews is surprising me here with the This Is Your Life big red book in 1973. I am very interested in antiques and I had gone to Earls Court in London to open the first International Antiques Exhibition. Eamonn sprang out and got me. It was a wonderful experience. In those days one This Is Your Life programme cost about £20,000 to mount - a lot of money to spend on me.

Series 13 subjects

Pat Phoenix | Bill Griffiths | Shirley Bassey | Warren Mitchell | Dudley Moore | Phyllis Calvert | Larry Grayson | Clive Sullivan
Bill Shankly | Willie Carson | Jack Smethurst | Mary Peters | Noele Gordon | James Corrigan | Pat Reid | Diana Coupland
Dulcie Gray | Janet Adams | Rita Hunter | Leslie Crowther | Jimmy Logan | Spike Milligan | Jackie Pallo
John Gregson | Jackie Charlton | Francis O'Leary