a popular British television programme, broadcast from 1955 to 2003. Each programme tells the story of the life of a famous person or one who has helped others. They do not know about it in advance, and the presenter surprises them at the beginning of the programme. They are then taken to a television studio (= broadcast centre) where their friends, family and other people who have been important in their lives appear as guests and tell stories about them. All the details of their life are collected in a big red book, which is given to them at the end of the programme. The programme was presented until 1987 by Eamonn Andrews and by Michael Aspel from 1993 until 2003. A similar programme, with the same title, was broadcast on US television from 1952 to 1961.