A signed script of the iconic TV programme 'This Is Your Life' featuring legendary boxer Muhammed Ali is set to be auctioned in Royston.

The signed production script of the 1978 Christmas special is anticipated to draw significant attention - with potential bidders intrigued by the story behind both the signature and programme.

The script will be presented by Royston auction house, Hanson Ross.

Originally belonging to John Smyth, a sound engineer who worked on the programme, it was held treasured in an envelope for 45 years.

Sally Little, John’s wife until his passing in 1998, explained why the signature was in pencil rather than pen, saying: "With so many guests on the programme, there were always changes to the script, the lighting or the positions people needed to be.

"These were made in pencil so they could be rubbed out and re-written.

"John never asked the celebrity guests for an autograph as it wasn’t the done thing, but he said there was something about Ali that made him ask.

"Ali had been chatting to everyone after the show and he was only too happy to sign the script, but pencil was all John had." 

John, who moved on from Thames Television as a production manager before its closure in 1993, cherished his meeting with Mohammed Ali.

Sally added: “John was fastidious and so it’s in fantastic condition.

"Moving house and downsizing from the south east to Cumbria has prompted me to sell it.

"It shouldn’t just sit in a drawer, there will be someone who will love to have it."

The show took place at the New London Theatre by Thames Television.

The script details host Eamonn Andrews addressing Ali and his wife Veronica, as well as introducing a star-studded cast of visitors, including renowned boxers like Henry Cooper, Joe Louis, and Joe Frazier.

'This Is Your Life', which aired from 1955 onwards, was based on unearthing guests' stories from 'the big red book' and reintroducing important figures from their lives, often offering surprises.

The auctioning of the script is set for April 12 under Hanson Ross: Lot 93.