This is Your Life
Here’s a flavour of Mike’s experience of The Big Red Book as described in the second part of his autobiography (Don’t Ask Me ask The Dog|)
When Eamonn Andrews greeted me outside Bush House, the home of the BBC’s World Service, and said those immortal words:
“Mike Brace, sportsman and social worker, “this is your life”,
I was filled with a mix of emotions. My first reaction was one of surprise and disbelief, and even suspicion, i.e. was it really Eamonn or a friend trying to be funny and putting on an Irish accent? Then, confirmation came from Brian Johnston whom I was there to meet, so it must be true!
After the shock wore off and we were on our way to the studio to record the programme, I also had another thought, I was only 31 and appearing on “this is Your Life” - was that it then? Had I done everything that I was going to do with my life?
I thought back on the day I had just had, prior to being grabbed for “This is Your Life”. The day had been a bit hectic and of course I did not have any inkling of what was to come later. When you are an ordinary individual you never expect or dream that something like “This is Your Life” will ever involve you! Looking back after the event I should have smelt a rat.
On the previous Monday I received a phone call from my friend Robbie, who was the Metro blind cricket team’s Captain, to say that he now had to work on the following Wednesday when Metro were due to have their Cricket AGM. I offered to Chair the meeting but he was very insistent that he wanted to be there and that the meeting was cancelled. I remember putting the phone down and thinking, the guys are going to be really hacked off with the meeting being cancelled, just because Robbie couldn’t make it. A few minutes later the phone rang again, and on answering it, I found that it was Brian Johnston, the broadcaster, cricket commentator and Metro’s President. He was asking if I could by any chance help him out by doing an interview about blind cricket for the World Service of the BBC? He said that he knew it was short notice but was I free on this coming Wednesday evening? I, like the idiot I am, said, “that’s really spooky, until about 3 minutes ago I would have had to say no, but my Club’s cricket meeting has just been cancelled so I am now free”.
Brian went on to say that we might have a bite to eat afterwards and tactfully suggested that perhaps I should wear something a bit smarter than my usual social worker’s uniform of jeans and jumper! He then astounded me by saying he would send a car for me. I say I was astounded, as anyone who worked with the World Service in those days, knew that they had no budget for things like cars, and barely had enough money to make the programmes!
I still didn’t suspect anything; well you wouldn’t, would you?