Wendy CRAIG (1934-)

Wendy Craig This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 268
  • Subject No: 270
  • Broadcast date: Wed 11 Feb 1970
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 4 Feb 1970
  • Venue: Euston Road Studios
  • Series: 10
  • Edition: 12

on the guest list...

  • Jack Bentley - husband
  • Richard Harris
  • Anne - mother
  • Allistair - brother
  • Margaret Marshall
  • Arthur Crisp
  • Charles Simon
  • Ann Johnson
  • Richard Waring
  • Harry Secombe
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Alaster - son
  • Ross - son
  • pupils of County Durham High School
  • Dirk Bogarde

production team...

  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

The Good Life

the sitcom stars

Life Is Full Of Surprises

Producer Robert Tyrrell reveals some 'cloak and dagger' tactics

Richard Harris

Harry Secombe

Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life Wendy Craig This Is Your Life

Screenshots of Wendy Craig This Is Your Life

Wendy Craig recalls her experience of This Is Your Life in this exclusive contribution to the BigRedBook website…

It was all a complete surprise. I knew nothing about it until it unfolded. Of course that's probably the best way. I didn't have time to worry and get myself in a state. I'd come home from a rehearsal and found that my husband, Jack Bentley, was back early from the office. Before I had time to take my coat off he said "Wendy they want you to do some publicity photos early this evening so could you put on something pretty and get made-up and ready, a car will pick us up and take us to the photographers at five o'clock".

Needless to say I wasn't very happy about this. I'd had a hard day at work and was looking forward to seeing the children and having a quiet evening at home. To top it all I hated having my photograph taken so the thought of having to get all dolled up and go out to a totally unwanted engagement was infuriating.

At first I point blank refused but Jack was strangely insistent and would brook no argument. He assured me it was a very famous photographer and I was lucky to have been chosen to model for him.

The chauffeur arrived and I was reluctantly whisked up to London for the second time that day, this time with Jack. I was still in a bit of a sulk and the chauffeur must have been baffled by this moody petulant woman whom he'd previously known as a jolly mum on the telly.

We were shown into the studio and the assistant ushered me to a chair in front of the camera. "Can't I even comb my hair?" I asked, wondering why I hadn't been introduced to this famous photographer. He was under a cloth peering through the lens. Suddenly the cloth flew up and clutching a large red book was Eamonn Andrews. "Wendy Craig" he announced... "This Is Your Life".

I almost fell off the stool in amazement and for a moment I was utterly stunned. Then I became aware of a camera crew lurking in the gloom filming the scene so pulling myself together I laughed and accepted my fate, secretly feeling flattered and thrilled to have been chosen and a little ashamed of my previous churlish behaviour.

I think the thing that baffled me most was how my husband kept this secret from me for so long without my having the slightest suspicion of what was brewing. This was in the days when there were no mobiles nor emails so it would have been difficult to hide phone calls and letters. Should I ever trust him again? He'd certainly done an amazing job. The assistant was now anxious to get us to the studio to record the programme but I was thoroughly embarrassed because I hated the dress I was wearing and begged to be allowed a pretty dress for the programme. My husband Jack promised he'd go back and find the frock I wanted and bring it to the studio in time for me to change. So eventually I calmed down and put myself into the hands of the director.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience seeing my family and friends appear one by one from the waiting room where they'd been hidden from me. They must have been very nervous having travelled down from the north and never having appeared on the telly before. I found it so moving to see my darling Mum and brother completely out of their comfort zone facing a studio audience and cameras. They were so brave.

Sadly, I can't watch the DVD now because it makes me sad. My husband, my mother and my brother have died as have others who took part so it's too painful to view, but I'm glad it happened and proud to have been chosen as one of Eamonn's victims.

It was an unforgettable experience and who knows, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren might find it amusing and of interest one day.

Series 10 subjects

Des O'Connor | Bobby Charlton | Harry Driver | Twiggy | Honor Blackman | The Beverley Sisters | John Fairfax | Henry Cooper
Jackie Stewart | Jimmy Savile | Arthur Dooley | Wendy Craig | Tony Jacklin | Charlie Cairoli | Richard Evans | Alfie Bass
Jack Good | Joe Mercer | Ronnie Corbett | Colin Milburn | Frankie Vaughan | Lorna Ridgway | Val Doonican
Johnny Speight | Reg Varney | Harold French