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The very latest news from the world of genealogy

Who Do You Think You Are? 2018 UK TV series celebs revealed

Today  we found out which celebreties are going to feature on our TV screens this summer.

The Press Release tells us that it includes stars from the world of music, comedy, sport, television and film.

The line up for the 15th series of the BAFTA-award winning genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? from Wall To Wall (a Warner Bros Television Production UK Ltd company) when it returns to BBC One this summer includes multi-awarding winning actor OLIVIA COLMAN, musician, DJ, fashion designer and British icon BOY GEORGE, Strictly Come Dancing’s Head Judge SHIRLEY BALLAS, comedian and Not Going Out actor LEE MACK, presenter and former JLS member MARVIN HUMES, barrister and television personality ROBERT ‘JUDGE’ RINDER, Our Girl star MICHELLE KEEGAN and gold medal winning Paralympian JONNIE PEACOCK all discover their families’ pasts in this year’s series.

Series fifteen reveals shocking discoveries, laughter and tears along the way, as our eight celebrities travel around the world to unearth the secrets of their ancestors.  Michelle Keegan uncovers some exceptional women on her family tree as she unearths a special connection to suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst. Olivia Colman’s journey is one of equal contrasts as she voyages from her family home in Norfolk to India, discovering that her ancestry is more diverse than she had originally thought. While Lee Mack’s investigation brings to light a comedy connection to his great-grandfather who performed on the frontline during WW1.  From adultery to asylums, illicit drinking dens to revolutions, our celebrities travel round the world, from Gibraltar to Genoa, India, Jamaica, South Africa and Latvia, as they solve the mysteries in their family trees.

By Sarah Winterman (Flickr: Me & Michelle Keegan (Corronation Street)) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Michelle Keegan by Sarah Winterman (Flickr: Me & Michelle Keegan (Corronation Street)) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


The series will air on BBC One over the summer with Michelle Keegan’s episode launching the series in June as part of the ‘Hear Her’ Season on the BBC which marks the centenary of women getting the vote.

The BBC is set to showcase women's voices in a dedicated season of content across TV, radio and online to mark 100 years since suffrage and the centenary anniversary of women being able to vote in the UK.


Executive Producer for Wall to Wall, Colette Flight, says: “Britain’s best loved stars are once again delving into their family trees, uncovering hidden secrets and solving mysteries. The stories they unearth are revelatory, often unexpectedly humorous but always affecting.”

BBC Commissioning Editor Fatima Salaria says: “The enduring appeal of Who Do You Think You Are is set to continue as BBC One broadcasts a huge host of names in series 15 including Olivia Colman, Boy George, Marvin Humes and Judge Rinder, which are guaranteed to move and entertain audiences. We’re particularly honoured to launch the series with Michelle Keegan’s episode which uncovers her special connection to Emmeline Pankhurst, as part of the BBC’s ‘Hear Her’ season. This is must see TV at its best.”


Series 15 was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content and Tom McDonald, BBC Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual. The Commissioning Editor is Fatima Salaria.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

The BBC's much loved genealogy programme has  returned to our screens with some fascinating new programmes for this season. Split into two batches, the first half has started with some great stories from Charles DanceCraig Revel Horwood, Clare Balding, Adil Ray, and Emma Willis to air next Thursday. If you have missed the programmes they are available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for a short period of time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t575

Who Do You Think You Are? special

Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC

 
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Green fingers run in the family for the presenter of the Chelsea Flower Show

Well that, sadly, was the last in the series of the UK edition of Who Do You Think You Are? In Wednesday's show we saw Sophie Raworth discover that green fingers ran in her family. There was also a very interesting insight into the Priestly riots against Nonconformists in Birmingham in 1791. Sadly it had a bearing on her ancestors as they migrated to New York in search of a better life. something that was not to be. Read this article here to find out more: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/who-do-you-think-you-are/sophie-raworth-471/
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Are you looking forward to Who Do You Think You Are? resuming?

Now that the Christmas break is out of the way, the BBC are bringing back the 13th series of Who Do You Think You Are? on Wednesday 25th January.

Who Do You Think You Are? special

In this second half of the series, that has been split into two for the first time, we kick off with the world famous British actor: Sir Ian Mckellen. Read this article on Sir Ian's roots  - but beware that it contains spoilers, if you read this before it is broadcast or you haven't seen the programme: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/who-do-you-think-you-are/sir-ian-mckellen-420/ Sir Ian's edition of Who Do You Think You Are? is broadcast on BBC 1 Wednesday 25th January at 8 pm.

Sir Ian McKellen

By Gage Skidmore (Ian McKellen) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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A great opening to the Who Do You Think You Are? 13th series (UK)

Well that was a great first programme in the UK series of Who Do You Think You Are?

wdytya2016_dyer

East Ender Danny Dyer, who plays the landlord of the Queen Vic in the BBC's Eastenders , discovered he was descended from Thomas Cromwell and Royalty including Edward III and there up to William the Conqueror. From the early research, into his more recent ancestors, it was not looking very positive with tales of relatives in and out of the workhouse and other hardships. Then suddenly, with the discovery of a gateway ancestor, the actor found himself related to nobility and finally the ultimate top of the social pile - the King of England! This article on TheGenealogist got it right. See: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2016/who-do-you-think-you-are/danny-dyers-cockney-and-royal-roots-371/

Who Do You Think You Are? special

Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC

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Who Do You Think You Are? UK series 13 starts on Thursday 24th November 2016

We are all looking forward to the very delayed (!) start of the new series of Who Do You Think You Are? on the BBC. We had been expecting it to start, as usual in August...then we were told it would be after the Olympics. Well it certainly is after the Olympics as it is kicking off with the first programme on Thursday 24th November. This show promises to be a fascinating look at Cockney actor Danny Dyer and his connection to a man at the heart of the Tudor court of Henry VIII who lost his influence and his head when he fell out with the king. That is not where it ends as the publicity coming out from the BBC is that Danny Dyer is related to royalty! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b083wt14 Looking forward to Thursday evening.

Danny Dyer

Photo By Hilton1949 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=14309355
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Family reunions past and present wanted for BBC documentary series

By Joxemai (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  Have you recently got in contact with a family member you’d lost touch with? BBC1 documentary series Family Finders is looking to hear from people who have lost touch with loved ones, and have managed to track them down, either independently or with the help of specialist agencies. The cameras will be there to capture the moment as the two sides are reunited and meet each other for the very first time. They are also looking for people who have already been reunited and are meeting up with their newly found family again. Call 01273 224804 or email familyfinders@ricochet.co.uk to share your story.
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Anita Rani

Anita Rani is the next celebrity to appear in the current BBC series of Who Do You Think You Are? Countryfile presenter and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Anita Rani was born in Yorkshire to Indian parents. But it is her maternal grandfather's story in the turbulent period of Partition that takes Anita to the Punjab to see if she can find out more. Ahita Rahi Nazran, better known as Anita Rani (born 25th October 1977) is an English radio and television broadcaster born in Bradford. Her mother Lakhbir (Lucky) Kaur, works at the Bradford Royal Infirmary as a liaison officer and is of Sikh descent. Anita's father, on the other hand, is Balvinder Singh Nazran and he is a Hindu. Both her parents were born in India, although her father came to Britain when he was four, so Anita says he's a Yorkshireman through and through. There is a featured article about Anita on the family history website TheGenealogist.

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Did you see Paul Hollywood on Who do You Think You Are?

Did you see the first programme in the 12th series of Who Do You Think You Are? on TV? Paul Hollywood, from The Great British Bake Off, was taken back to his grandfather's WWII experience in North Africa where his grandfather was sent as soon as he had completed his training. At Medjez el Bab in Tunisia, Norman's Light Anti-Aircraft division were protecting the infantry from enemy air attacks at the time of the major Allied offensive to take Tunis from the German forces. With the enemy throwing bombs and missiles at them it was hard on these men. From there Paul travelled to Italy, where he learnt about how his grandfather was part of the landing force that became trapped on the beaches at Anzio for four months, surrounded by Germans and all the while under constant aerial bombardment. Paul gets to see the landing area where his grandfather and the other men would have felt like sitting ducks, with death and devastation all around them. Norman and his comrades finally managed to land and their gun was then transported five miles inland. Unfortunately for them the regiment was soon surrounded by the enemy in a dangerously exposed area. Huge numbers of men had no choice but to dig themselves into 7ft long fox holes and spend months trapped, coming under repeated German shell attacks. In May 1944 and thanks to Norman's regiment's extraordinary efforts, the stalemate at Anzio was broken. The next month the Allied armies went on to liberate Rome, but not without the loss of 14,000 lives. Paul's grandfather brought back from this conflict a visible memento of his terrifying time. He had developed a facial tic that stayed with him until he died. Researching his line even further back, Paul Hollywood was seen in the Who Do You Think You Are? programme to use TheGenealogist's 'family forename search' to find Alexander McKenzie, a Wood Turner who had come down to Liverpool from his native Glasgow. Following his Scottish family line up to Glasgow he then found that the next generation in the McKenzie family was a Glasgow Policeman, down from the Highlands, who had a certain amount of trouble avoiding alcohol. Paul then discovered that his great, great, great, great grandfather Donald McKenzie, was a Highland postman with quite extraordinary stamina. Not being able to afford a horse with which to cover his rounds delivering the mail to 30,000 people, Donald simply ran the 120 miles with the mail every week.

Paul_Hollywood

Paul_Hollywood

With thanks to TheGenealogist for using part of their article. Read the full piece that reveals even more about Paul Hollywood's family history by clicking this link: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2015/who-do-you-think-you-are/paul-hollywood-248/
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The BBC announce the schedule for Who Do You Think You Are? 12th series

The BBC has now announced the order in which the Who do You Think You Are? episodes will be broadcast for the 12th U.K. series. This popular genealogy TV programme kicks off with Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood on 13th August, on BBC One. The series will be aired every Thursday evening at 9pm, with a one week break in between Mark Gatiss and Frances de la Tour’s episodes on 15th October. Although the schedule may still be subject to change, Frances de la Tour’s story will close the series on 22nd of October.    

Paul_Hollywood

Paul_Hollywood

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