Terry WOGAN (1938-2016)

Terry Wogan This Is Your Life
  • The first time This Is Your Life opened live on radio

programme details...

  • Edition No: 489
  • Subject No: 487
  • Broadcast date: Wed 19 Apr 1978
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 19 Apr 1978 9.30am
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 18
  • Edition: 22
  • Code name: Two

on the guest list...

  • Pete Murray
  • Tony Blackburn
  • Jimmy Young - live link
  • Alan - son
  • Mark - son
  • Katherine - daughter
  • Helen - wife
  • Michael - father
  • Rose - mother
  • Brian - brother
  • Pauline - sister-in-law
  • Frank Spencer
  • Peggy Spencer
  • Ray Carroll
  • James Sexton
  • Ken Daly
  • Noel Curran
  • Val Doonican
  • Mark White
  • Marion Montgomery
  • Laurie Holloway
  • Derek Broadbent
  • Michael Heary
  • Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band

production team...

  • Researcher: John Viner
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Radio Times

tuning in the broadcasters

Eamonn Andrews

a brief biography

A Life Remembered

tributes to the original presenter

Birth of Life

the genesis of the programme


the show's fifty year history

Michael Aspel

a career review

The Story of This Is Your Life

a BBC Did You See...? special

This is his life...

Irish magazine RTE Guide reveals some behind-the-scenes secrets

Andrews's death casts doubt on his show

The Guardian reports the death of Eamonn Andrews

How they asked Aspel

TV Times interviews new presenter Michael Aspel

Life as seen by Aspel

Press speculation and announcements on new presenter Michael Aspel

Secrets Of The Big Red Book

TV Times launches another new series

Tony Blackburn

Val Doonican

Laurie Holloway

Pete Murray

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Screenshots of Terry Wogan This Is Your Life

Terry Wogan autobiography

Terry Wogan recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his autobiography, Is It Me? reproduced here with kind permission of the author...

Then one bright morning in 1978, Eamonn Andrews burst into my studio at nine o'clock with the Big Red Book, and I realised that Helen had been deceiving me for months, and I had never noticed a thing.

Up to that moment, I had thought of myself as sensitive, aware of nuance and any deviation in the pattern of behaviour of my nearest and dearest. This Is Your Life helped me realise that I had all the sensitivity of a lavatory seat.

They dragged me out of the studio, and I continued to speak to my radio audience from the BBC Radio cab, as Eamonn, myself and blessed Derek Mills, who had connived at it all behind my back, drove to the TV studios on Euston Road.

Terry Wogan and Eamonn Andrews

They were all there, of course – friends from Ireland, Laurie Holloway, Marion Montgomery, Val Doonican, Frank and Peggy Spencer from Come Dancing, Pete Murray, Tony Blackburn, an audience full of the friends we had made in Britain, and, most importantly, Helen, with Alan, Mark and Katherine. Brian and his wife, Pauline were there, too, and with them, Rose and Michael.

It was a wonderful, emotional day; Eamonn and his team treated everybody with typical kindness and professionalism, and we all ended up with a late lunch at a trat in Charlotte Street.

I sometimes regret that I was done by This Is Your Life so early in my career in British radio and television. Compared with what was to come, I had done very little. On the other hand, I am grateful that it happened while Rose and Michael were still alive. They were bemused, but, I think, proud, and Michael T. got to sing 'The Floral Dance' along with the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band.

Terry Wogan and Eamonn Andrews
Roy Bottomley This Is Your Life book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...

Terry Wogan was still a DJ when Eamonn Andrews gatecrashed his BBC radio studio while he was broadcasting live on 19 April 1978.

We had a radio car at the front door so he could continue broadcasting on the way to our studio.

Said the blarney to the blarney: 'If I'd known about this I'd have shaved.'

Gus Smith biography of Eamonn Andrews

Gus Smith recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, Eamonn Andrews His Life...

After Terry Wogan was surprised in the late seventies, during his morning radio programme in Broadcasting House, he told himself he was not nearly as perceptive as he'd reckoned he was.

'I mean my producer, my wife, relatives and friends - even my children - were all in on the plot and yet I never sensed a thing. It showed me that I was as sensitive as a toilet seat.'

To Terry, the only thing wrong with the show was that it was done five years too early. He hadn't presented Blankety Blank or the Wogan chat show; otherwise, he enjoyed the experience.

'I never considered it an intrusion. I now know that I reacted in startled fashion when confronted by Eamonn but I think that was understandable in the circumstances. I was glad in another way that it happened to me then, for my father was alive to enjoy it; that was an enormous advantage - he was thrilled.'

Series 18 subjects

Richard Beckinsale | Peter Ustinov | Virginia Wade | Robert Arnott | Lin Berwick | Bob Paisley | The Bachelors | David Broome
Arthur English | Barry Sheene | Margot Turner | Pat Coombs | Michael Croft | Max Boyce | Nicholas Parsons | Richard Goolden
Ian Hendry | Marti Caine | Ian Wallace | Dennis Waterman | Anton Dolin | Terry Wogan | William Franklyn | Richard Murdoch
Harry Patterson | Jule Styne | Mike Yarwood