This Is Your Life was a television documentary series hosted by its producer, Ralph Edwards. It originally aired in the United States from 1952 to 1961, and again in 1972 on NBC. It originated as a radio show airing from 1948 to 1952 on NBC Radio. A version of it continues a very long run in the United Kingdom starting in 1955.
The concept: The format of the show was simple: the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity or public figure, occasionally an ordinary citizen) and, consulting his “red book”, conduct a biography of the subject in a television studio. The subject would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted.
The 1950s edition of the show was aired live before a theater audience. The celebrity guests were ambushed by Ralph Edwards and confronted by the microphone and cameras. They made their way to the studio during the first commercial break. Most of the honorees quickly got over their initial shock and enjoyed meeting bygone friends again.
Highlights, with 20 million viewers were the shows with guests: Mohammed Ali, Joan Collins and Shirley Bassey.
Dame Shirley Bassey had the honour of being twice on ‘This is your life’. The first time was in 1972. The second time in 1993. This is the 1993 episode.