Max BOYCE (1943-)

Max Boyce This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 481
  • Subject No: 479
  • Broadcast date: Wed 22 Feb 1978
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Fri 17 Feb 1978
  • Venue: Patti Pavilion, Swansea
  • Series: 18
  • Edition: 14
  • Code name: Touch

on the guest list...

  • Jean - wife
  • Betty - mother
  • Nestor - aunt
  • Jenkins - uncle
  • Irene - aunt
  • Wilf - uncle
  • Bill - uncle
  • Mary - aunt
  • Margaret Hudson
  • Ossie Powell
  • Ann Ford
  • Gerald Dix
  • Alwyn Rolands
  • Owen Philips
  • Peter Brown
  • Brian Davis
  • Denis Jones
  • Bryn Griffiths
  • John Davis
  • Russell Stanley
  • Dr Hugh Llewelyn
  • Lots Darrell
  • Jeff
  • Ivor Morgan
  • George Russ
  • Michael Davis
  • Peter Mortimer
  • John Williams
  • Idris Jones
  • Euan Lewis
  • Terry Williams
  • Bill Jenkins
  • Terry Flinch
  • Dai Vaughan
  • Barry John
  • Cathy - daughter
  • mother-in-law
  • father-in-law
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Ken Dodd

production team...

  • Researcher: Marilyn Gaunt
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

It's a Funny Old Life

it's all about the comedy

Ken Dodd

Barry John

Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life Max Boyce This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Max Boyce This Is Your Life

Max Boyce recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in this exclusive contribution to the BigRedBook website...

"When watching the programme on TV previously, I always believed that the subjects knew in advance about their appearance.

However, I was totally taken aback and surprised to see Eamonn Andrews approach me with the big red book in the stands at my local rugby ground, following a game between my team Glynneath, and Hawick rugby club from the borders of Scotland.

My wife Jean, who had kept the secret to herself for many months, had to take medication to calm her nerves as she was so concerned that I would find out before the day.

I was thrilled and honoured to be chosen for such a prestigious and iconic programme."

Gus Smith biography of Eamonn Andrews

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

Welsh folk hero Max Boyce helped the team surprise renowned Welsh rugby forward, Mervyn Davies.

The player had been carried off the pitch at Cardiff Arms Park in a coma and close to death. Later, his fight for life had been, as Eamonn would say, more inspiring than many of his sporting achievements. That evening in Swansea, he was handed the red book before 1000 fellow Welshmen. Recalled Eamonn, 'It was Max Boyce who scored this match-winner by inviting the rugby star on stage to join him and then make way for me to say, "Mervyn Davies... this is your life!"'

Evidently, Max had made a good impression on Eamonn, for shortly afterwards he put the folk singer's name forward at the Thames production conference as a potential Life subject. It was planned to spring the surprise after an inter-club game in his village ground at Glynneath. Just as Max was being interviewed for local television about the international rugby match next day between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff, Eamonn stepped forward and sprang the surprise.

'It was a total surprise to me,' Max recalls. 'I remember, though, saying to myself a split second before, "What is Eamonn Andrews doing around here?" It was early in my career and I didn't think Eamonn would hand me the red book.'

Lined up in the street outside the rugby ground were about half a dozen big, black limousines which would whisk the local Life guests to Swansea for the recording of the programme. An old man was heard to ask, 'What are these limousines for then?' Someone else replied, 'I think they're for Max Boyce.' The old man shook his head and mumbled, 'Jesus, I didn't know he was dead.'

Eamonn liked to tell the story to his friends. Max Boyce believes he enjoyed coming to Wales, in particular doing his own Life story. As he explained. 'He met ordinary people, warm-hearted people. Since Eamonn was a genuine person, he was able to relax with them and enjoy their conversation. He got to know my mother Elizabeth quite well and because my father, who was a miner, had been killed in the ground, Eamonn showed great interest in her story. Every year for ten years he sent her a Christmas card with the greetings written in green ink. The gesture was typical of him. He could so easily have forgotten all about her.'

Max noticed that his mother afterwards liked to take down from the shelf the red Life book and proudly leaf through the pages. She had, he knew, enjoyed the show, just as all the family had. Yet, in his own view, it was in television terms an old programme and depended on its continued success on the freshness of its subjects. But he attributed its real success to the fairytale element, as well as Eamonn's own personality.

Sometimes he was disappointed by the preponderance of show-business stars on the show. 'I think that ordinary people have often more to say. This was true about my own Life.'

Series 18 subjects

Richard Beckinsale | Peter Ustinov | Virginia Wade | Robert Arnott | Lin Berwick | Bob Paisley | The Bachelors | David Broome
Arthur English | Barry Sheene | Margot Turner | Pat Coombs | Michael Croft | Max Boyce | Nicholas Parsons | Richard Goolden
Ian Hendry | Marti Caine | Ian Wallace | Dennis Waterman | Anton Dolin | Terry Wogan | William Franklyn | Richard Murdoch
Harry Patterson | Jule Styne | Mike Yarwood