Terry GRIFFITHS (1947-)

Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 529
  • Subject No: 526
  • Broadcast date: Wed 16 Jan 1980
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 9 Jan 1980
  • Venue: New London Theatre
  • Series: 20
  • Edition: 8
  • Code name: Pocket

on the guest list...

  • residents of Llanelli
  • Max Boyce
  • Annette - wife
  • Martin - father
  • Lynn - sister
  • Barrie - brother
  • Dennis Taylor
  • Wayne - son
  • Darren - son
  • Phil Bennett
  • Derek Quinnell
  • Tony O'Shea
  • Howard James
  • Ron Jones
  • Sid Gwenter
  • Peter Francis
  • Patsy Fagan
  • Rex Williams
  • Perrie Mans
  • Eddie Charlton
  • Maisie Taylor
  • Dolly Rees
  • Andrew Beard
  • Filmed tribute:
  • Ray Reardon

production team...

  • Researchers: Brian Klein, Cathy Parnall
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Paul Stewart Laing, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Pot Black

cueing the stars of snooker

Max Boyce

Ray Reardon

Dennis Taylor

Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Terry Griffiths This Is Your Life

Terry Griffiths' autobiography

Terry Griffiths recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Griff...

One event I have to blame CSS for was my appearance on This Is Your Life, which took place shortly after Christmas. I remember we had just bought our new house in Pembrey and were staying with the in-laws while we waited to move in. The previous day I had been playing in the Wilson's Classic in Manchester, where I was knocked out by Alex Higgins. Then I travelled back down to London because CSS had apparently arranged for me to see some potential sponsors.

It was now about 6pm and I was absolutely shattered, having spent all day with Barrie Gill talking to sponsors. We were driving along a street, allegedly en route to a Ford dealer's showroom to talk about an exhibition, when this bus pulled out in front of us. I noticed this crowd of people on the bus and thought: I know that face. But I could not work out what was happening. Suddenly all these lights came on and I recognised some of the lads from Llanelli. What's going on here? There must a match or something. Then Eamonn Andrews stepped off the bus with the famous 'Red Book' and uttered 'the words'. As they took me back to the television theatre, I was in a total daze. I wanted to see the kids before the show started, but they would not let me.

That night, in the theatre, for the first time in my life I was lost for words. Emotionally it was too much for me. The next thing I knew the show was over... and that was it. It all went past me like a dream. Obviously it had taken months to prepare, with Annette, family and friends talking about all the things that had happened. She had had to take valium because she could not stand the thought of being on television. Of course, it was a great honour to be chosen for the programme, but at the time I really could not take it all in. People had said to me before that I would someday get on the show, but I had just laughed at them. I never thought it would happen.

In fact, it very nearly didn't. They almost got caught out because on the morning of the show I rang the in-lawas to see how the kids were. Mrs Edwards, the next-door neighbour, answered the phone and I asked if Wayne or Darren were there? No. Tom or Audrey? No, they were all up in London. Now Annette was lying next to me in bed at the time and was having a heart attack all through the conversation. I said to her, 'Mrs Edwards says everyone's in London.' 'No, of course not. She doesn't know what she's talking about. Come on, they're waiting for you downstairs.' And so I was rushed off into a very busy day and thought no more about it. It was a desperately close thing that, because if you find out beforehand, they cancel the programme. I did not realise till afterwards how near I got to blowing it completely.

jimbrook.co.uk unknown date

This Is Your Life

An Exhibition by Mitch Vowles & Jim Brook.

On Wednesday the 7th of January 1976, Welsh snooker professional Ray Reardon was recording a session for Thames Television's Ladbroke International series at London's Swiss Cottage Holiday Inn. Having finished up the last frame, Reardon began setting up a trick shot - requested by the event's producers as possible programme filler - before the floor manager that day, David London, interrupted citing an unexpected 'technical problem'. As filming resumed and Reardon launched into his piece to camera and subsequent effortless trick shot, a man entered the hall via the rear doors, vaulted the table surrounds and approached the six-time World Snooker Champion, tapping him on the shoulder. A visibly startled Reardon initially looked over the wrong shoulder, before his legs almost gave way and he grabbed the table for support. "There's one red you haven't potted yet", declared the man, somewhat triumphantly.

Almost exactly four years later, on Wednesday the 9th of January 1980, fellow Welsh snooker pro Terry Griffiths was being driven through central London by Barrie Gill - the founder of sports marketing company CSS - following a long day of potential sponsorship meetings. While on their way to a Ford dealership showroom, supposedly for a similar meeting about an upcoming exhibition match, a large London bus pulled out in front of them, blocking the road ahead. That same mystery man, this time disguised as a bus conductor and brandishing a large red book resembling a family photo album, exited and made his way toward Griffiths in the passenger seat, grinning maniacally.

That man was, of course, television presenter and host of the long-running documentary series This Is Your Life, Eamonn Andrews. Andrews made a career out of doorstepping, ambushing and surprising unwitting celebrities, sports stars, cultural icons and even members of the public, before presenting them with that talismanic autobiographical tome and uttering the immortal eponymous epithet "Tonight, this is your life!". The 'victims', as they were known in the particular parlance of the popular light-entertainment programme, would then be whisked away to a television studio, where they were expected to discuss and dissect their life in front of a live audience, aided and abetted by a cohort of colleagues, friends, family members and surprise guests. It was typically an emotional affair, and Andrews didn't shy away from exploring the lows as well as the highs, the failures as well as the successes. Reardon, for example, was reunited with his fellow miners, those who had rescued him after an accidental roof collapse left him buried for almost three hours.

Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, who had appeared as a guest for Reardon's episode, received the 'big red book' treatment himself in 1981, the snooker legend's trip down memory lane only slightly marred by the fact that his then wife Lynn wasn't on speaking terms with Higgin's mother Elizabeth. And despite tensions reportedly boiling over at the programme's after-party, with Lynn receiving a slap across the face from an extended 'Hurricane' family member, Higgins himself always remembered the experience fondly. For at a time when only three television channels existed, to air your dirty laundry and the trappings of fame and fortune on primetime was, according to the 'People's Champion', "almost like the British equivalent of getting an Oscar or a gold medal.".

Despite coming to an end in 2003 - after 48 years, 43 series and 1130 episodes - at Collective Ending HQ we find the programme's name in lights once more. Carnival lights, set within the green baise of a snooker table. It's an apt title for an exhibition featuring two artists who don't shy away from exposing their whole, honest selves through their practices. Autobiographical anecdotes abound, with tales of traditional Sunday chicken dinners and the resultant wishbone ritual. Sentimental stories shared within the sanctity of a snooker hall bridge the inherent North-South divide. Differences are put aside next to the coins stacked on the table's edge by awaiting competitors. There are the aforementioned guests, albeit more akin to ghostly apparitions than their over-excited on-camera counterparts. A father absent save for his size-nine Slazenger trainers, another immortalised within a customised keychain. Family portraits etched in motorcycle jacket patches. An uncle's pensive poetry and a grandfather's affectionate put-down. The loitering Levi 501s of fellow pub goers. And Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins again - of course - omnipresent in that renowned red and white floral funerary wreath.

"Jim Brook, Mitch Vowles, tonight, this is your life!"

Essay by Hector Campbell.

Magnus Pyke This Is Your Life

Series 20 subjects

Pat Seed | Fred Trueman | Noel Barber | Charles Aznavour | Eric Sykes | Andrew Sachs | Gerald Harper | Terry Griffiths
Paddie O'Neil | George Martin | Geoff Capes | Roy Kinnear | Nyree Dawn Porter | Emlyn Hughes | Stewart Granger
Clare Francis | Jilly Cooper | Robin Cousins | Brian Bevan | Bill Beaumont | Mike Tetley
Alan Minter | Nat Jackley | Cathleen Nesbitt | Michael Aspel | Clive Lloyd