Ronnie DUKES (?-1981)

Ronnie Dukes This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 415
  • Subject No: 412
  • Broadcast live: Wed 12 Nov 1975
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 16
  • Edition: 1
  • Code name: Duchess

on the guest list...

  • Ricky Lee - wife
  • Kenneth Earle
  • Dean - son
  • Perry - son
  • Violet - mother-in-law
  • Tom - father-in-law
  • Ray Wafer
  • Peter Parkinson
  • Pete Middleton
  • Cathy Wiley
  • Nelly Machin
  • Rita Hudson
  • Roy Bakewell
  • Jimmy Patton
  • Brian Patton
  • Nick Cravat
  • Colin Crompton
  • Norman Collier
  • Mike Yarwood
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Larry Grayson
  • David Nixon
  • Peters and Lee
  • Bob Monkhouse
  • Ken Dodd
  • Jolie - daughter

production team...

  • Researcher: Maurice Leonard
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Director: Royston Mayoh
  • Executive Producer: Jack Andrews
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...
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Screenshots of Ronnie Dukes This Is Your Life

The Times article: Ronnie Dukes This Is Your Life

The Times 13 November 1975

This Is Your Life


Alan Coren

Dear God, shall England never be free of the threat that stalks her streets? Last night, in a new wave of Irish terror, an innocent English tap dancer was hijacked from his legitimate business, held captive in a tiny, windowless room and subjected to as devilish and sophisticated a course of torture as it lies within man's ingenuity to conceive.

For Eamonn Andrews is no ordinary kidnapper: long years at his grisly trade have honed his techniques to a fine and terrible edge. Amateurs may use brute force and primitive threat to reduce their victims, but Andrews, chuckling disarmingly the while, is able to destroy a man simply by dredging up an old schoolmate who will not only hurl himself upon the captive (who has no idea why this stranger is crushing his head in a manic embrace) but, having thrown himself aside, proceed to describe to the man's loved ones the occasion upon which he got his leg stuck in a cistern or threw up over the headmaster's parrot. Throughout these fearful reminiscences, the captive must smile and nod, and slap shoulders and in no way betray his feeling that he would prefer to be laying about him with a blunt instrument.

He will also be forced to sit and applaud a monitor upon which those unable to be with him to embarrass him personally may do so from the safety of what usually turns out to be their dressing room, thus enabling us to see that they are in regular work. Last night kidnapee, Mr Ronnie Dukes, was visited by the screened heads of Larry Grayson, Ken Dodd, David Nixon and Bob Monkhouse, and it is to his eternal credit that he took it like a man, and did not crack until Eamonn, in a diabolical flourish produced Mr Duke's four-year-old daughter. It was at this point that the victim finally broke down and wept, and if you have any human decency, you will have done the same.

A morally cleansing evening, though, for all of us who watched the siege in distant helplessness. Because Mr Dukes has just, we were told, become famous. It was good to have the price of fame so clearly ticketed, both as a warning to Mr Dukes and a consolation to the rest of us.

Series 16 subjects

Ronnie Dukes | Ray Milland | Mike Hailwood | Frank Windsor | Magnus Pyke | Bill Tidy | Gladys Mills | Andy Stewart
Windsor Davies | Ray Reardon | Patrick Mower | Alberto Remedios | Susan Masham | Betty Driver | Henry Davies
Gwen Berryman | Vince Hill | Arnold Ridley | Beryl Reid | Alan Mullery | Percy Thrower | Gareth Edwards
June Whitfield | Terry Fincher | Richard Dunn | Norman Croucher