A review: Who do you think you are

Now that the latest series of who do you think you are has finished, ten more celebrities let us into their historical lives. For me it is a factual series I look forward to because as someone who does their own genealogy, it inspires me to look into areas I would not normally in my own tree. I find that some of the stories resonate in my own tree and I think this is the similar situation for others that do their own genealogy.

The celebrities for this season were in the order of appearance:

  1. Danny Dyer
  2. Amanda Holden
  3. Liz Bonnin
  4. Cheryl
  5. Ricky Tomlinson
  6. Sir Ian McKellen
  7. Greg Davies
  8. Warwick Davis
  9. Sunetra Sarker
  10. Sophie Raworth

I did find most of the stories fascinating. Especially Amanda Holden, Liz Bonnin and Sunetra Sarker because of their ancestors having their stories that took them to other countries. I loved Amanda’s enthusiasm for the vineyard. What really stood out was Liz’s journey to the Caribbean and the links and history I personally learnt about life in the Caribbean at that time. Former series have had celebrities trace their ancestry to India, but it is always a story I love to hear and that was the case with Sunetra. I loved the story of how she was the first to return to a village where her ancestors lived.

I think those that stood out was the enthusiasm and passion they had which for home-grown stories, I adored Sir Ian McKellen, mainly because it was based in Manchester and the North West of England which is where I am from. It was nice to see a piece of my own local history that I was not fully aware of.

One that did have twists and turns was Greg Davies’ episode. For me he is a comedian who I have never really watched or taken to. However I thought I would give it a go and I was not disappointed. With the twists of village life in rural north Wales and how everyone talks and it showed the social importance of life back then. It showed how reputation mattered and the taboo’s that were not accepted that are now. I found Greg’s immersion of getting to know these ancestors of his, really brought the story of his ancestors to life.

I had the same impression for Danny Dyer as I did with Greg Davies. Again I was not disappointed. His humour and shock was value enough for me. When finding out his connections to royalty and his facial and verbal reactions were great. As I have had those moments myself where you have an OH MY WORD!!! gasp of excitement and unbelievable shock. That is what I really caught my attention with this episode.

As an aspiring journalist and a fan of Sophie Raworth was someone I was looking forward to. I loved that she was already going in with a lot of knowledge already and those photographs were beautiful. Like many of us we have gone down the wrong route, as did she but found out they were a relation to her but not directly. Which for us who research lines it can happen a few times. As it has with me when I thought I had relations in Australia. I do, just from a completely different family unit and side of the family.

Although there were some that did disappoint me. I found that the Cheryl episode was okay in looking at mariners as an occupation as well as looking at World War One (which are stories I always love to hear). But personally I could not take to her as I felt she lacked something, whether it was the enthusiasm or that I had been spoilt beforehand with previous episodes, unfortunately I tried but I could not get into it.

Ricky Tomlinson for me came across as rather aggressive and I was angry at him for being so angry. Then again we all act in different ways to history especially when it is personal. I loved the social history to Liverpool and how life was with it being a busy port outside of London.

Warwick Davis I don’t know, I enjoyed it in a way with the musical aspects as I have a theatre musician in my family tree. But it was Warwick’s humour that really came into it all. For me I did not enjoy it compared to the others. Although for others they could have been their favourite.

One thing I did learn to go forward in my research is how I undervalued newspaper articles and how they give valuable information, especially with obituaries. I have used them a little before, but in the future more of newspapers will be used.

It was a series I thoroughly enjoyed and it is the names that attract the numbers to watch the programme. For me I find is useful for inspiration to look in new places for information.






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