Paddy ASHDOWN (1941-2018)

Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 1082
  • Subject No: 1057
  • Broadcast date: Wed 31 Oct 2001
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8.00pm
  • Recorded: Sat 20 Oct 2001 4.30pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Centre
  • Series: 42
  • Edition: 3
  • Code name: Silver

on the guest list...

  • Mark - brother
  • Sarah - sister-in-law
  • Kate - daughter
  • Simon - son
  • Jane - wife
  • Lottie Hoskins
  • Denis Healey
  • Gillie Howe
  • Keith Aston
  • Tom Shenton
  • Ted Tandy
  • David Hartridge
  • Mark Cook
  • Osman Topcagic
  • Charles Kennedy
  • Seb - son-in-law
  • Matthias - grandson
  • Lois - granddaughter
  • Tim - brother
  • Alisoun - sister
  • Filmed tributes:
  • John Cleese
  • Robin Oakley
  • Kenneth Clarke
  • Andrew Marr
  • Lord Jenkins
  • Mark Bloomer
  • Jayne Bloomer
  • Dave Brodie
  • Anne Brodie
  • Bernie Green
  • Lindsay Higgins
  • David Rogers

production team...

  • Researcher: Ruth Malone
  • Writer: Joe Steeples
  • Director: John Gorman
  • Associate Producer: Helen Gordon-Smith
  • Executive Producer: John Longley
  • Series Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • Producer: Sue Green
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Life on the Hustings

a cross-party celebration

Mark Cook

Denis Healey

Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Paddy Ashdown This Is Your Life

Paddy Ashdown's autobiography

Paddy Ashdown recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, A Fortunate Life...

In the middle of all this, I was suddenly confronted with one of those events that people in public life half wish for, but half dread at the same time.

On Saturday 20 October, at Ian Patrick's insistence, I somewhat grumpily agreed to interrupt a weekend and drive up to London to do a BBC interview at their White City studios. As I was checking in at the BBC reception desk, Michael Aspel emerged from behind a curtain with a cameraman and uttered the famous phrase, 'Paddy Ashdown, This Is Your Life.'

It was a considerable shock, but a marvellous one, which ended in a very emotional evening with many old friends and some long-lost relations, including, to my joy, my brother and sister from Australia whom I had not seen for more than thirty years.

The Guardian 1 November 2001

Ashdown gets surprise of his life

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown had a surprise reunion with a brother he has not seen for more than 30 years when he featured on the television show This Is Your Life.

Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon was not expecting the encounter with Tim Ashdown at the end of the BBC1 show because his brother sent his greetings on a video clip earlier in the programme.

Tim, accompanied by his sister Alisoun Downing and their children and grandchildren, were seen waving and cheering on a film taken in Australia, where they all live.

But when Lord Ashdown discovered the programme makers had flown Tim and Alisoun over from Australia, he could not conceal his astonishment.

Although he met up with Alisoun about seven years ago, when she visited the UK, Lord Ashdown had not seen Tim since 1967.

On the programme screened last night Michael Aspel said to him: "We heard earlier how the rest of your family emigrated while you were serving with the Royal Marines on Special Boat Service in the Far East."

"You managed a couple of holidays since then but haven't been back since 1967."

"We'll put that right tonight. We've flown your brother Tim and sister Alisoun in from Melbourne."

As Tim and Alisoun walked on the set, the peer exclaimed: "Good gracious!" before embracing his brother warmly and kissing his sister.

Before he arrived at BBC television centre for the filming on Saturday October 20, Lord Ashdown thought he was taking part in a book programme called By The Book.

During the surprise show he also met up with his nanny, Lottie Hoskins, the former Labour chancellor Lord Healey, and Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy.

Lord Ashdown, the eldest of seven children, was born in 1941 in New Delhi, India.

At the end of the second world war, his father set up a pig farm in Northern Ireland, but it began to lose money.

When he joined the Royal Marines at the age of 18, the rest of the family emigrated to Australia.

His parents, two of his brothers and a sister have all died.

Series 42 subjects

Michael Winner | Shaun Williamson | Paddy Ashdown | Tim Smit | Babs Powell | Saeed Jaffrey | Paul Young | Julian Clary
Jonah Lomu | Rosemary Conley | Ian Woosnam | Bill Oddie | Fern Britton | Nick Ross | Ray and Trevor Powles
Stephanie Cook | Ian Lavender | Jenny Seagrove | Anita Dobson | Henry Sandon | Linda Barker | Brigit Forsyth
Christina Noble | Claire Sweeney | Lloyd Scott | Julian Fellowes