Willie CARSON (1942-)

This Is Your Life Big Red Book

programme details...

  • Edition No: 344
  • Subject No: 345
  • Broadcast date: Wed 17 Jan 1973
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Wed 20 Dec 1972
  • Venue: unknown
  • Series: 13
  • Edition: 10

on the guest list...

  • unknown

production team...

  • Researcher: unknown
  • Writer: unknown
  • Director: Margery Baker
  • Producer: Malcolm Morris
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related page...

Equestrian Life

from racing to show jumping

This Is Your Life Big Red Book
Willie Carson's autobiography

Willie Carson recalls his experience of This Is Your Life in his book, Up Front: A Racing Autobiography...

In 1973 I was made a freeman of Stirling. And then there was This Is Your Life. I thought beforehand there was something fishy going on. Carole would put the phone down when I came in and there were other little things that just didn't seem right. I sensed that she was up to no good but I didn't know what. Then one morning Ted said he was taking the kids off to the zoo. Carole went to get her hair done and there was only me in the house. I thought there was something funny going on then because normally there was always somebody in the house. Carole always had someone round for coffee and a chat. But that day, nothing. In the evening we were due to down to the Sportsman's Club because they wanted to give me an award or some such thing.

I was sitting there at home on my own and I got the invitation out: dinner jacket, 6.30. It seemed a funny time. So I picked the phone up and rang the Sportsman's Club. It was lucky that I got the right person who clicked straight away and played me along. If I'd got anybody else, they would have said, 'Oh yeah, they're doing This Is Your Life here, the cameras are round the back and all the guests are arriving.'

Anyway, I drove up to Tottenham Court Road and somebody was there to take my car. I thought that was a bit odd. As we walked up this man said, 'Just hang on a second will you,' and made up some cock-and-bull story. I had to wait on the stairs of the reception area before going up. I remember thinking to myself: this is the sort of thing that happens on This Is Your Life. I went upstairs and they put this ruddy trophy in my hands and the photographers were all saying, 'Smile at the camera, sir.' Cheeky sods. And the Eamonn Andrews came in and stood beside me and said, 'This is your life'. I said, 'Bloody hell, I'm not old enough.' I had to do a speech.

The programme played on the fact that I was the man who was upstaging Pigott. I can't say I enjoyed it. I found it embarrassing. I suppose really if you had a choice you would say, 'No thanks'. Everybody else seemed to enjoy it, but it just seemed a bit tacky, people coming in and talking about you. They only ever say the good things, never the bad ones. I was only a kid after all.

Series 13 subjects

Pat Phoenix | Bill Griffiths | Shirley Bassey | Warren Mitchell | Dudley Moore | Phyllis Calvert | Larry Grayson | Clive Sullivan
Bill Shankly | Willie Carson | Jack Smethurst | Mary Peters | Noele Gordon | James Corrigan | Pat Reid | Diana Coupland
Dulcie Gray | Janet Adams | Rita Hunter | Leslie Crowther | Jimmy Logan | Spike Milligan | Jackie Pallo
John Gregson | Jackie Charlton | Francis O'Leary