DRG has joined with Jonathan Ross to relaunch the primetime entertainment show, This Is Your Life.

DRG, which represents the international rights to the 60-year-old programme brand, is currently developing the new series with Ross and conversations are already underway with UK broadcasters.

Jonathan Ross, himself a former subject of This Is Your Life when Michael Aspel was presenter, will be the new host. The new series will retain key elements of the show, such as the ‘Big Red Book’ and surprising its famous subjects, but there will also be a number of new elements to refresh the format. These include more behind the scenes information such as revealing how guests are chosen, and what goes into planning the initial surprise ‘hit’ on the celebrity.

Jonathan Ross comments: “This Is Your Life is one of the most iconic TV shows of all time and it’s a pleasure to be working with DRG on bringing it back to life. We live in a time when both traditional platforms and social media already tells us a lot about our favourite celebrities, but there’s nothing quite like hearing about their life first-hand. The new This Is Your Life will continue to honour the big names of today, celebrating their achievements and sharing little known facts about their lives, and of course inviting relatives and celebrity friends to share experiences – and hopefully secrets! It will be recognisable as the old This Is Your Life we all remember and love, but will contain fresh, contemporary elements to delight a whole new audience.”

Jeremy Fox, chairman of DRG adds: “Jonathan Ross will be the perfect host; he loved the original show, was himself a subject and has a brilliant knack for getting the best out of people. I can think of no one better for the role and die-hard fans should be reassured that this much-loved programme will be in very safe hands.”  He added: “I’ve always wanted Jonathan to host the show but we both felt that the time is now right.”

This Is Your Life first appeared on screen in the US in 1952, hosted by its creator Ralph Edwards. It ran for over 40 series in the UK and is the only show that has appeared on BBC, ITV, back to the BBC and then back to ITV. The show started life on BBC One with Eamonn Andrews and moved to ITV with the same presenter in 1969. Michael Aspel took over presenting duties after Andrews died in 1987 and was with the show when it returned to the BBC in 1994. Famous names surprised by the Big Red Book in the UK include Bob Hope, Joan Collins, Dudley Moore and Richard Attenborough. Over the years, This Is Your Life has been remade in multiple territories such as Australia, New Zealand and Denmark and has just been renewed in France.

Staff Reporter

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