Nosher POWELL (1928-2013)

This Is Your Life Big Red Book

programme details...

  • Edition No: 332
  • Subject No: 333
  • Broadcast live: Wed 26 Apr 1972
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: unknown
  • Series: 12
  • Edition: 24

on the guest list...

  • Pauline - wife
  • Fred - father
  • Lia - mother
  • Dinny - brother
  • Charlie Drake
  • Joyce Lucker
  • Rita Pierce
  • Eric 'Tiny' Russell
  • Ronnie Evans
  • Henry Cooper
  • Eddie Hearn
  • Jack Solomans
  • Gerald Harper
  • Diana Rigg
  • Gregory - son
  • Tony Curtis
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Sammy Davis Jr
  • Gary - son

production team...

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

Life In The Ring

from flyweight to heavyweight

The Night of 1000 Lives

a celebration of a thousand editions

Henry Cooper

Charlie Drake

Gerald Harper

This Is Your Life Big Red Book
Nosher Powell's autobiography

Nosher Powell recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Nosher...

I never suspected. It was a broiling hot summer's day, and I was in my chainmail doing a full dress rehearsal for a jousting tournament near Windsor Castle. I was trying to control a high-spirited grey Andalucian mare, and she was really one big fucking handful.

A camera crew had turned up, and were hanging around looking as if they were waiting for something to happen. A phone call had come through earlier to say they'd be there filming for some programme called Look at Life.

I should have guessed.

Finally I slid down from the saddle and approached the man in charge. "What are you waiting for? Do you want us to put on a show, or what?" I asked.

He shifted his feet. "We're waiting for Tom Bloggs, he's the interviewer."

Tom Bloggs?

"He's the interviewer. Ah." He looked past me. "Here he comes now."

Across the field came an armour-clad figure in full regalia, complete with plumed helmet, striding purposefully towards us. The visor was down over his face. Still I didn't get it.

He walked right up to me. "Nosher Powell?" Where had I heard that Irish brogue before?

"Yeah, that's me."

"Nosher Powell - this is your life!" And Eamonn Andrews pushed back the visor to reveal his grinning face, and brought out a large red book from behind his back.

I responded as one does in such a situation. "Bollocksl You're having me on!"

But he wasn't. "No. This is your life!"

Oh, shit. I'd said "bollocks," straight into the camera. But they got me into a car, and on the way to the studios. Alone in the back, I said to the driver: "I'm dreaming. This has got to be a joke."

"No, you're not, Mr Powell," the chauffeur assured me.

Half-way along the M4, I developed a raging thirst. Also, my bladder was sending urgent messages. I'd been out in the sun for hours without a drink, and dehydration was setting in. "We've got to stop. I need a drink and I need a slash."

With some reluctance, the driver turned off the motorway and found a pub. I rattled the door handle. "It's locked," said the chauffeur. "We always do that. If I let you out, will you promise you won't do a runner?"

I was in full chainmail armour. "You've got my word," I said. "For Christ's sake, let me out!"

I clanked into the public bar, did my best to ignore the stares and pretend there was nothing out of the ordinary, and ordered a pint. Then I went to the gents. Cor, was I relieved! "Give me an empty bottle to take with me," I told the barman. "And please don't say anything we might both regret."

At Teddington Studios I clumped through the foyer into a dressing room, and got out of my gear. In a wardrobe one of my suits was hanging up, with a clean shirt - which meant that Pauline had been in on it. I'd have a word with her later.

But once we got going - what a great night! I have to admit it was marvellous, tear-jerking stuff. My whole past came up and swam before me like a mirage. Somehow they'd found two little girls who had been evacuated with me in the war.

Then the celebrity list began, and it was like a roll-call of my life.

Henry Cooper, Gerald Harper, Sammy Davis Jnr, Charlie Drake, Tommy Steele, Diana Rigg. What was it she said? "I had to do a fight scene with Nosher in The Avengers, and knock him over a piano. Believe me, when I hit him, I hurt my own arm!" Lovely girl, that Di! [ editor: Tommy Steele does not appear on the audio recording of this edition]

And I learned one thing that night. Tom Bloggs is the name that Eamonn and now Michael Aspel used as a cover. So, if it ever happens to you, don't say I didn't warn you!

In the end it was a night to treasure.

Series 12 subjects

George Best | Alfred Marks | Rolf Harris | Don Whillans | Sacha Distel | Les Dawson | Doris Hare | Keith Michell | David Frost
Barry John | Michael Flanders | Charlie Williams | Ginette Spanier | Hughie Green | Tom Courtenay | Hylda Baker
Gordon Banks | Alan Rudkin | Michael Wood | Graham Kerr | Pauline Collins | Ray Illingworth
Patricia Hayes | Nosher Powell | Richard Briers | Lulu