Virginia WADE MBE (1945-)

Virginia Wade This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 470
  • Subject No: 466
  • Broadcast live: Wed 7 Dec 1977
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 18
  • Edition: 3
  • Code name: Sixteen

on the guest list...

  • Canon Eustace Wade - father
  • Joan - mother
  • Judy - sister
  • Chris - brother
  • Sebastian - nephew
  • Timmy - nephew
  • Norman Brinker
  • Cindy Brinker
  • Gertrude Filmer
  • Marjorie Hazell
  • Winnie Shaw
  • Bob Howe
  • Veronica Burton
  • Nell Truman
  • Joyce Williams
  • Christine Truman
  • Sue Mappin
  • Lesley Charles
  • Billie Jean King - live link
  • Dan Maskell
  • Francoise Durr
  • Jim Filmer
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Elizabeth - niece
  • Nicky - nephew
  • Katarina - niece
  • Charles - nephew
  • pupils and staff of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School
  • Lord Briggs

production team...

  • Researcher: Deborah Gaunt
  • 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...

World of Sport

serving up tennis and golf

The deuce of a job getting Ginny's jigsaw to fit

TV Times feature on Virginia Wade

Angela Rippon

Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life Virginia Wade This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Virginia Wade This Is Your Life

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...

Virginia Wade had lost in no fewer than four Wimbledon semi-finals before winning the Ladies Championship against Bette Stove in HM the Queen's Jubilee Year, 1977. Rarely had the nation appreciated a sporting victory more deeply. 'Ginny' had been carried on a wave of emotional support.

But where was she? Where would she be next? Being a professional tennis player means living out of suitcases as well as tennis bags. By the time the Life was back on air for the 1977 season (ours, that is) we thought we had the elusive champion committed to New York. Researchers flew in to Manhattan to arrange a likely pick-up and the opportunity to present the programme in New York, where Virginia had many friends.

All was going so well that the senior researcher took an evening off to go to the movies, to see Star Wars. There were so many special effects noises going on during the film, it took her a while to realise one of the signals was coming from her own bleeper.

The call was to say that Virginia had suddenly decided to fly to London to receive an award at the National Sports Stadium at Crystal Palace (she had been voted Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year following her Wimbledon triumph).

So it was that Angela Rippon announced another award on the night of 7 December 1977 – the Big Red Book. And there was Eamonn Andrews at Crystal Palace.

Billie Jean King, six times Wimbledon Champion, added her tribute, as did Dan Maskell (another Life subject) when he quoted that favourite line of Kipling's inscribed above the entrance to the centre court: 'If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat these two imposters just the same...'

Said Dan: 'Virginia is the living proof.'

Virginia Wade, Eamonn Andrews and Angela Rippon

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