Tim SMIT (1954-)

Tim Smit This Is Your Life
  • This edition was recorded on September 11 2001 - the day now referred to as 9/11

programme details...

  • Edition No: 1083
  • Subject No: 1058
  • Broadcast date: Thu 8 Nov 2001
  • Broadcast time: 8.30-9.00pm
  • Recorded: Tue 11 Sep 2001
  • Venue: Teddington Studios
  • Series: 42
  • Edition: 4
  • Code name: Garden

on the guest list...

  • Anne - mother
  • Jan - father
  • Geena - stepmother
  • Vicky - sister
  • Candy - wife
  • Laura - daughter
  • Sam - son
  • Alex - son
  • Jo - Alex's partner
  • Richard Taylor
  • Mike Snaith
  • Konrad Bartelski
  • Charlie Skarbek
  • Adrian Ashcroft
  • Terry Campbell
  • Paul Travers
  • John Nelson
  • Stefan Buczacki
  • Helene Merman-Smit
  • Mary Woodvine
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Diarmuid Gavin
  • Prue Leith
  • Trevor Baylis
  • Alvin Stardust
  • Twiggy
  • Caron Keating
  • John Willis

production team...

  • Researcher: Deborah Cowan
  • Writer: Joe Steeples
  • Director: John Gorman
  • Associate Producer: Helen Gordon-Smith
  • Executive Producer: John Longley
  • Series Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • Producer: Sue Green
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Life on Earth

an uncharted adventure


the show's fifty year history

My Life in Their Hands

The Mirror interviews Michael Aspel

Trevor Baylis

Alvin Stardust



Tim Smit recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in April 2007

Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life Tim Smit This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Tim Smit This Is Your Life - and Tim Smit photographed at his home with his big red book in April 2007

Tim Smit's autobiography

Tim Smit recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his book, Eden...

The eleventh of September 2001 was a sunny day. I was supposed to be meeting the newscaster Trevor McDonald in the Rainforest Biome to discuss Eden's impact, which was why, I assumed the film crew was there. Instead I was ambushed by Michael Aspel: 'Tim Smit, this is your life...' Unreal. A car had been booked to drive me to London because they knew I was frightened of flying, and off we went, allowed only the time to hug everybody who had kept it such an extraordinary secret. We were less than ten miles up the road when we encountered a horrendous traffic jam. The producer turned to me and said, 'How scared of flying are you exactly?' I took a deep breath and agreed to fly. We got the two last seats on the flight to London. There was a hubbub at the airport and as we got on everybody seemed extremely nervous. I was rather encouraged, perversely; it wasn't just me who felt fear. The producer couldn't stop talking all through the flight.

When we landed I was whisked into a car without the usual formalities. Great being a star for a day, I thought. At the Thames Studios at Teddington I was kept away from people and taken up to a rather comfortable green room, where I sank into a chair and had a cup of tea before turning on the TV. The sound was muted, and playing in front of me was a scene obviously from an action thriller I hadn't seen before. It was 6.15pm. I flicked the mute button off, and … well, you know the rest. Aspel came in, white as a sheet, and explained what was going on. He had also taken a call from a coach full of my colleagues on their way to the studio who had demanded that he tell me what was going on or they would make the driver turn around. Would I do the show? Yes, I said, on one condition. Was my son Alex here? He was due to have been in Boston with his girlfriend at the time and, of course, your mind races. Aspel hesitated, then said yes. It was, he said, the first time in the history of the show he had ever given something away.

Showtime, and one by one my family joined me on stage along with the familiar faces from the past right up to the present. It was a fabulous event in so many respects, heightened by a sense of unreality due to what had happened in America. Years later Aspel would cite this show as the most memorable of them all – not down to me, I'm sure. For the family it was momentous, too, because Alex had been flown back feeling very ill indeed, and he had fainted during the after-show party. We would discover that he had suddenly been caught by diabetes. How lucky for us that the show was scheduled so as to bring him back in time to receive attention.

Series 42 subjects

Michael Winner | Shaun Williamson | Paddy Ashdown | Tim Smit | Babs Powell | Saeed Jaffrey | Paul Young | Julian Clary
Jonah Lomu | Rosemary Conley | Ian Woosnam | Bill Oddie | Fern Britton | Nick Ross | Ray and Trevor Powles
Stephanie Cook | Ian Lavender | Jenny Seagrove | Anita Dobson | Henry Sandon | Linda Barker | Brigit Forsyth
Christina Noble | Claire Sweeney | Lloyd Scott | Julian Fellowes