Stories behind This Is Your Life

This Is Your Life series 2 titles

programme details...

  • Broadcast date: Mon 24 Jun 1957
  • Broadcast time: 7.30 - 8.00pm
  • Recorded: Sun 7 Apr 1957 4.00pm
  • Venue: King's Theatre Hammersmith
  • Series: 2

production team...

  • Researchers: Peter Moore, Nigel Ward
  • Writer: Gale Pedrick
  • Music: James Turner
  • Editor: Ron Spillane
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson

related pages...

Harry S Pepper This Is Your Life   Sir John Barbirolli This Is Your Life

Harry S Pepper, the BBC radio producer, recalled the shock of finding himself a subject and his reaction to the programme, and his wife explained how difficult it was to keep the secret.


In a filmed contribution, the conductor of Manchester's Halle Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli, expressed how grateful he was to the BBC for a pleasurable and moving evening with family and old friends.

Ada Reeve This Is Your Life   Sue Ryder This Is Your Life

The actress Ada Reeve addressed the accusation that she knew what was coming next because she put on her glasses before Eamonn asked her to look at the television monitor to watch a recorded message from her family in Australia!


Sue Ryder, the charity activist, told of how cross she felt at being a subject but admitted the programme was beneficial in highlighting her charitable foundation and resulted in increased donations.

Brian Hession This Is Your Life   Maud Fairman This Is Your Life

Reverend Brian Hession, the clergyman, filmmaker and campaigner, who made headline news after claiming he was duped into appearing, took the opportunity to dispel some myths about cancer.


Maud Fairman, a cleaner and devoted mother reunited with her family for a Christmas Eve edition, recalled how she felt like a star after appearing on the programme.

Lady Mackenzie   Esmond Knight This Is Your Life

Lady Mackenzie, in a filmed contribution, recalled how she read some of Gibran's The Prophet to her husband, the writer Sir Compton Mackenzie, on his tribute. At the request of viewers, she was invited back to read the extract again.


The actor Esmond Knight told how his tribute was nearly cancelled when a relative almost revealed the secret! And Eamonn surprised Esmond with a guest who was too ill to appear on the original programme - Baron Burkard von Mullenheim-Rechberg - the senior surviving officer of the German battleship Bismarck.

In an extract from the end of series review programme, the six sisters of boxer Sammy McCarthy explained how they could not pay tribute to their brother.

Also featured are the six sisters of boxer Sammy McCarthy, known as 'Sammy's Slaves'.

As the majority of the early This Is Your Life programmes were broadcast live, there was always a risk that a programme may over-run, resulting in a lack of time for all the invited guests to add their contribution. This happened on Sammy McCarthy's programme when his six sisters could not pay their tribute in full.

This special edition of the show offers them the opportunity to tell Eamonn Andrews of the public's reaction to their brief appearance on the original programme, which resulted in hundreds of fan letters being received and, in the case of one sister, the offer of a modelling contract!