Britain’s best-loved family-history series, Who Do You Think You Are?, returns to BBC One this summer to celebrate its 10th birthday and 100th episode.
Over the past decade, the hugely popular genealogy show has told the moving and heartfelt stories behind 90 famous faces, tracing their ancestry, discovering family secrets and surprises with tales of poverty and prosperity, love and loss, war, immigration and struggle.
This year, the glittering line-up features 10 more well-loved stars: award-winning actress Julie Walters; comedian and actor Billy Connolly; star of British Bake OffMary Berry; acting legend Brian Blessed; actress Sheridan Smith; comedian/actor and the man behind the hugely successful Mrs Brown’s Boys, Brendan O’Carroll; actress Tamzin Outhwaite; presenter and DJ Reggie Yates; actor Martin Shaw; and model and actress Twiggy. From murder to bankruptcy, ice-cream selling to corset making, revolutionary land wars to syphilis, the new series reveals more extraordinary stories from our celebrities’ families.
To mark a decade of Who Do You Think You Are?, a one-hour special will accompany the new series, delving into the treasure trove of extraordinary TV moments that have marked the series. From Jeremy Paxman’s tears and JK Rowling’s joy, to the saints and the villains. From very large books to very white gloves, audiences remember the highlights and hear from the celebrities themselves about their Who Do You Think You Are? journeys.
Leanne Klein, CEO – Wall To Wall Television, said: “For 10 years, Who Do You Think You Are? has shone a light on British and world history through the ancestors of some of our most loved celebrities. The fact that it has inspired so many of us to look into our own family histories too is a sign of its enduring popularity.”
Maxine Watson, BBC Commissioning Editor, Documentaries, says: “Since its launch in 2004, audiences have savoured the often unexpected and emotional journeys into family history. As we celebrate 10 fantastic years in 2014, another 10 famous faces discover more about themselves through their past. The new series promises to continue to deliver BBC One audiences the laughter, tears and surprising revelations of family ancestry as only Who Do You Think You Are? can.”
Artists’ storylines featured – final running order to be finalised:
Julie’s journey takes her to Ireland, where she is on the trail of her radical great grandfather.
Brian wants to know where his adventuring spirit comes from – and discovers a real life Oliver Twist in his family tree.
Tamzin’s journey into her past follows the rags to riches story of her Italian great grandfather.
Brendan’s story is a deeply personal quest to solve a murderous family mystery.
Sheridan has grown up surrounded by a musical family, she’s on a hunt to find out where it all started.
Mary wants to know where – at 79 – her energy and drive comes from, her journey reveals some unexpected and familiar twists and turns.
Martin never knew his grandfather. An old photograph kick starts a journey to uncover who he was.
Reggie grew up knowing very little about his father’s side of the family. A trip back to Ghana reveals a complex family history where Ghanaian culture and British colonialism collide.
Twiggy grew up in a close knit family in London – but admits that her parents told her nothing at all about her family. Her adventure reveals a colourful cast of characters.
Billy has always considered himself Scottish through and through – but discovers that his ancestry is considerably more exotic.