Sally James (born 10 May 1950) was a presenter on the ITV Saturday morning children's show Tiswas from 1977 until it ended in 1982. Famous for her "almost legendary" interviews with rock stars on that show and the generous proportion of her cleavage that was usually on display Before this success, she was an actress on such television shows as The Two Ronnies, Crown Court, Father Dear Father, Dixon of Dock Green, Curry & Chips and The Protectors. Film roles included The Railway Children and the Glam Rock movie Never Too Young To Rock. Richard Marson's book celebrating fifty years of Blue Peter comments that James was considered as a possible replacement for Lesley Judd in the 1970s.
She now runs a business selling school uniforms in Cobham, Surrey, using her married name of Sally Smith, and had a programme on BBC WM on Saturday mornings from 6 - 9am until the Summer of 2005 when the show was taken over by Les Ross.
James was born in Chiswick, but moved to Hinchley Wood, Surrey when she was seven years old. Her father was a stills photographer, working for a movie company. He happened to be photographing a film called To Sir, With Love, starring Lulu, when Sallys acting ambitions stirred into life. Through her father, she persuaded the producer to give her a part in the films schoolroom scenes. There followed parts in such long-running TV series as Dixon of Dock Green and The Saint, and the part of a school teachers wife in a twice-weekly Yorkshire Television soap called Castlehaven.
London Weekend Television hired James for a Saturday morning childrens show, Saturday Scene. In the mid-70s Birminghams ATV studios launched Tiswas, fronted by Chris Tarrant. In 1977 the TISWAS team decided it would be a great idea to have a bright, bouncy, sexy girl on the show, and invited Sally, through her agent, to go to Birmingham to meet them all.
She currently presents for Film24.
James and her family, who live near Effingham, have retained a very close friendship with Chris and his former wife, Ingrid Tarrant, who live in nearby Esher. She is married to agent and entrepreneur Mike Smith, currently closely involved in the resurgence of the Leatherhead Theatre. They have been married for over 25 years, have three boys. Some 25 years after Tiswas ended, James presented a reunion show along with fellow presenter Chris Tarrant, (Tiswas Reunited) on ITV on 16 June 2007. Lasting 90 minutes, the show featured contributions from celebrities who enjoyed the show as children, and appearances by people who had been on the show.
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