Patrick CAMPBELL (1913-1980)

This Is Your Life Big Red Book

programme details...

  • Edition No: 289
  • Subject No: 291
  • Broadcast date: Wed 30 Dec 1970
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 16 Dec 1970
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 11
  • Edition: 7

on the guest list...

  • Vivienne Knight - wife
  • Ned Sherrin
  • Please note: this is an incomplete list

production team...

  • Researcher: Martin Robertson
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Margery Baker
  • Producer: Robert Tyrell
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related page...

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This Is Your Life Big Red Book
Patrick Campbell's autobiography

Patrick Campbell recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, 35 Years on the Job...



It seemed like a reasonable proposition, one even over-generous in some of its aspects.


Two return tickets, Nice-London-Nice, three days and nights in the Savoy Hotel, use of limousine when required and some folding money in the reticule - all for doing a little Christmas chat with Ned Sherrin on the telly.


It was Madame who received the news by telephone, while I was out. She mentioned Thames Television as the sponsors of this enterprise, but I knew that must be wrong. 'It's the B.B.C.' I explained, a little wearily. 'Ned always does it for the B.B.C.' I accepted her brief apology. 'All the same,' I said, 'they're certainly lashing it out - for a bankrupt corporation. Three days in the Savoy! Why three?'


'Perhaps,' she suggested humbly, 'they want you there early, in case of fog or trouble at London Airport.'


'You didn't ask who else was on the programme, I imagine.' She bowed her head. 'I forgot.' She brightened a little. 'Anyway,' she said, 'we'll be able to go to the wedding as well.' I had to allow that it was a fortunate coincidence.


The scene shifts to the Savoy Hotel, some evenings later. Madame had another phone call, again while I was out. A young man called Martin Something is calling with a car to take us to the studio. I begin to worry a little about what kind of nonsense Ned Sherrin has in store for us, and who the other performers might be.


Martin Something - is it Robertson or Robinson? - arrives, introduces himself to me. Then I introduce Madame. They shake hands politely. Robertson-Robinson tells me the other people on the show are Malcolm Muggeridge, Germaine Greer and - he hesitates - Dee Wells. 'I believe,' he says, a shade anxiously, 'you once had rather an argument with her on television. I hope you don't...'


I quell all his doubts with a generous gesture. 'Fine, lovely, great,' I tell him. 'All forgiven and forgotten. All that happened was this...'


All down the long corridor of the hotel, with Madame bringing up the rear, I told him about the argument with Dee Wells, and continued to do so in the lift. I was approaching the end when we entered the foyer, and I saw through the glass doors a Rolls-Royce in the courtyard outside. I knew a conference had been going on all day in the hotel about the take-over bid, and presumed that the newsreels were there to take pictures of the tycoons departing.


A uniformed chauffeur was waiting beside the Rolls with his back to me. I hurried out of the swing doors, with the intention of nipping round the back of the Rolls to get out of the way of the newsreel boys, when the chauffeur turned round and it was Eamonn Andrews and he handed me a large red book and he said, 'Patrick Campbell - this is your life.'


They had been working together on this enterprise for two long months, and I'd known nothing about it. She and my daughter had been at rehearsal that morning when I thought they were getting their hair done for Jonquil's wedding. And we were going to be able to go to the wedding because she had insisted that the show be recorded the day before. All this had been done by endless telephone calls to London in a house belonging to some friends of ours down the road, when I thought she was helping them with their Christmas decorations.


There was no need for me to introduce Martin to her because she and Martin had been in unbroken communication for weeks. But, at the studio, she had to introduce me to Mary and Leslie and God knows who because they were old friends of hers and I'd never heard of them.


Duplicity beyond belief. Not only was my daughter in on it but also my step-son. In fact it was he who suggested Dee Wells to Martin as an element to distract my attention. Deception beyond compare. They had found in Athlone me old friend Micky, who used to help with the engine of a boat I had on the Shannon in 1937, and even he hadn't tipped me the wink.


Conspiracy most foul, and perhaps at its foulest when I found that the first guest on the show was Ned Sherrin himself, with whom I thought I was going to have a Christmas chat, in the company of Malcolm Muggeridge, Germaine Greer and the controversial, outspoken Dee Wells.


I can see now, quite dearly, how Kim Philby got away with it for so long.


Series 11 subjects

Bob Hope | Vidal Sassoon | Talbot Rothwell | Mike and Bernie Winters | Joe Brown | Patrick Campbell | Bobby Moore
Robert Soutter | Graham Hill | Sandy Powell | Edward Woodward | Moira Lister | Dickie Henderson | Wilfred Pickles
Kenny Ball | Marjorie Proops | Basil D'Oliveira | Clive Dunn | Peter Noone | Monica Dickens | Jon Pertwee
Lionel Jeffries | Adam Faith | Googie Withers | Matt Busby