It’s been off the air for some time but, for many years host Ralph Edwards and This Is Your Life was a staple of U.S. radio and television. The concept was a simple one. Carrying an oversized red book, the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity) and tell them “This is your life!” The person would be whisked away to a TV studio where the host would read from his book and review the person’s life. Along the way, the guest would be reunited with a variety of important individuals from their past.
The series began in the U.S. on radio in 1948 and moved to television for a nine year run. It was revived a couple of times with little success and a recent plan to revive it with Regis Philbin as host seems to have stalled.
The series has had greater success worldwide, particularly in the United Kingdom. It ran on BBC1 from 1955 to 2003. Well, the series is being revived once again and will begin a run on ITV1 this summer. Host Michael Aspel said, “The show was immensely popular in its day but the ratings began to fall and it was seen as being out of date. But a group of TV chiefs have decided to bring it back because they reckon it could once again prove to be a very watched program.”
The producers promise an impressive list of This Is Your Life honorees but, of course, are keeping mum on the specifics. The revival got off to an impressive start though as the first guest was surprised last week. News anchor Sir Trevor McDonald made a special trip across the pond to do the honors. Take a look… and stay tuned!