The Written Word
This Is Your Life The Written Word feature
  Ted Willis This Is Your Life Ted WILLIS

23 March 1959

Eamonn surprised the screenwriter and playwright in the BBC Television club at the Lime Grove Studios - just around the corner from the BBC Television Theatre.
Ted - a prolific writer perhaps best known for writing the hugely popular BBC television series Dixon Of Dock Green - was greeted by, among others, the actors Melvyn Hayes and Alfie Bass.

     
     
T E B Clarke This Is Your Life T E B Clarke This Is Your Life T E B CLARKE

31 October 1960

The film screenwriter - best known for writing a series of enduring comedies for Ealing Studios - was surprised by Eamonn at the BBC Television Centre.
Among those paying tribute to 'Tibby' at the BBC Television Theatre are Sir Michael Balcon, the head of Ealing Studios, and Wilfred Hyde-White, the character actor.

     
     
Alan Herbert This Is Your Life Alan Herbert This Is Your Life Alan HERBERT

16 January 1961

The novelist, playwright, poet and law reform activist - and Independent MP for Oxford University between 1935 and 1950 - was surprised by Eamonn onboard HMS President, docked downstream from London's Westminster Bridge.
Among those paying tribute are the politician Lord Boothby and actress and singer Evelyn Laye.

     
     
Edith Sitwell This Is Your Life Edith Sitwell This Is Your Life Edith SITWELL

6 November 1962

Eamonn surprised the poet and critic by interrupting an interview with Kenneth Allsopp on the stage of the BBC Television Theatre.
Dame Edith's guests include the politician Tom Driberg and photographer Cecil Beaton, along with her literary brothers Osbert and Sacheverell.

     
     
  Sydney Scroggie This Is Your Life Sydney SCROGGIE

2 April 1964

The mountain walker, writer and poet was surprised by Eamonn at the BBC Television Theatre.
Sydney lost his sight and part of his right leg on active service during the Second World War.

     
     
Harry Driver This Is Your Life Harry Driver This Is Your Life Harry DRIVER

3 December 1969

The scriptwriter of popular television sitcoms such as George and the Dragon and Nearest and Dearest became the subject of the first ever edition recorded by Thames Television, when This Is Your Life was relaunched on ITV after being axed by the BBC in 1964. Eamonn surprised Harry at the Bloomsbury Centre Hotel in London.

     
     
Johnny Speight This Is Your Life Johnny Speight This Is Your Life Johnny SPEIGHT

13 May 1970

Eamonn surprised the television scriptwriter in the foyer of Thames Television's Euston Road Studios.
Johnny's guests include many of the performers he has written for, including Eric Sykes and Frankie Howerd, who greet him in person, while Warren Mitchell, who plays his most famous creation Alf Garnett, in Till Death Do Us Part, sends a recorded message.

     
     
Talbot Rothwell This Is Your Life Talbot Rothwell This Is Your Life Talbot ROTHWELL

9 December 1970

The 'Carry On' scriptwriter was surprised by Eamonn at Pinewood Studios - on the set of the latest film in the series - Carry On Henry. During the Second World War, Talbot was incarcerated in Stalag Luft III, where he befriended another inmate – Peter Butterworth, who appears on his tribute along with fellow Carry On stars Sid James and Joan Sims.

     
     
Pam Ayres This Is Your Life Pam Ayres This Is Your Life Pam AYRES

24 November 1976

The poet and comedian - who rose to fame after winning the television talent show Opportunity Knocks - was surprised by Eamonn while recording her own television show at Thames Television's Euston Road Studios. Pam's guests include Hughie Green and colleagues from the comedy show What's on Next? – Barry Cryer, William Franklyn and Jim Davidson.

     
     
Eric Newby This Is Your Life Eric Newby This Is Your Life Eric NEWBY

6 December 1978

Eamonn surprised the travel writer on his birthday as he arrived at the New London Theatre.
Eric had been a prisoner of war, was awarded the Military Cross, and held the post of travel editor of The Observer newspaper between 1963 and 1973. His most widely-known work - A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush – was published in 1958.

     
     
Willie Rushton This Is Your Life Willie Rushton This Is Your Life William RUSHTON

1 April 1987

Eamonn arrived in style on a horse-drawn brewer's dray at Richmond's Orange Tree pub - on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the London Standard Pub of the Year award - to surprise the actor, cartoonist, comedian and satirist, who is perhaps best known as a co-founder of the satirical magazine Private Eye. Spike Milligan and Barry Cryer are among those paying tribute.

     
     
Alan Bleasdale This Is Your Life Alan Bleasdale This Is Your Life Alan BLEASDALE

5 February 1992

The television dramatist - best known for his social realist drama serials such as Boys from the Blackstuff and GBH - was surprised by Michael at the Quayside Studios in Liverpool's Albert Docks.
Among Alan's guests are politician Neil Kinnock, musician Elvis Costello, actor Pete Postelthwaite and fellow writer Willy Russell.

     
     
Barry Cryer This Is Your Life Barry Cryer This Is Your Life Barry CRYER

18 January 1995

The comedy writer and comedian - who has written for many noted performers - was surprised by Michael at Thames Television's Teddington Studios, during a mock interview - which was revealed to be taking place on the actual This Is Your Life set!
Barry ends his show by singing a rendition of Show Me The Way To Go Home...

     
     
David Croft This Is Your Life David Croft This Is Your Life David CROFT

20 December 1995

In his earlier career David had directed This Is Your Life, although he's undoubtedly best known for co-writing some of the most popular television sitcoms of all time, and his show includes tributes from many of the performers from those comedies.
Michael surprised him outside the BBC Television Centre with the help of cast members from Dad's Army.

     
     
Kay Mellor This Is Your Life Kay Mellor This Is Your Life Kay MELLOR

27 March 2000

The scriptwriter - whose work for television includes the drama series Band of Gold and Playing the Field - was surprised by Michael outside the exclusive London restaurant, The Ivy.
Many of the actors who have appeared in her work pay tribute, including John McArdle, Anne Reid and Barbara Dickson.

     

* the pre-1970 subjects were surprised by a different coloured book - see the Big Red Book feature for full details