Ian Thorpe honoured with new series of ‘This Is Your Life’

A new series of the iconic television series This Is Your Life has kicked off, and the first Australian to be surprised with an episode highlighting their life achievements was swimmer Ian Thorpe.

Host Melissa Doyle, armed with the legendary red book, surprised Thorpe as he was giving a motivational speech to young swimmers, declaring “Ian Thorpe – this is your life!”

Joining the show to praise Thorpe’s achievements in and out of the pool were athletes, politicians and celebrities including Cathy Freeman, Grant Hackett, former Prime Minister John Howard, Jimmy Barnes, Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson, designer Collette Dinnigan and his family members.

During the interview Thorpe also spoke about his decision to come out during a 2014 interview with Michael Parkinson sharing that he’d only come out to his closest friends and family prior to the interivew.

“I actually spent some time with Parky before that interview, and I said to him probably a day or two before we actually filmed it, ‘Look you should actually ask me if I’m gay, because I’m going to tell you that I am.”

The sportsman said there had been several times previously that he’d considered sharing his sexuality, but he had not felt comfortable until 2014.

Thorpe was also reunited with his colleagues from the 4x 100m relay at the Sydney Olympics with Michael Klim and Chris Fydler joining him on the couch and Ashely Callus joining them via video link.

During the program Thorpe revealed his knack for learning languages, he speaks most European languages and describes his Japanese as “good enough to get him out of trouble.”

While the interview covered many of Thorpe’s sporting achievements, it made no mention of his political activism, campaigning for marriage equality, his advocacy against the religious discrimination laws or his work in preventing bullying.

This Is Your Life first began in the USA in 1948 and versions of the show have aired around the world.

The Australian version made it’s debut in 1975 on the Seven Network with Mike Willesee, Digby Rolfe and Roger Climpson as hosts. In the 1990’s the show aired on the Nine Network with Mike Munro surprising unsuspecting subjects. Munro hosted the show for 13 years, before Eddie McGuire took over for a short stint.

After a 11 year absence from television screens the show has now returned to Seven.

The episode can be viewed online at 7Plus. 

OIP Staff

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